Turkish bulk carrier under Saudi control May 13 Update

Update May 13:
Bulk carrier INCE INEBOLU manager company INCE DENIZCILIK VE TICARET A.S. made a statement on May 12 describing the details of an incident – the ship was hit by a missile at around midnight May 12 being some 70 nm off Yemeni coast. Missile hit the ship in Hold 3 area and exploded inside. After the attack, INCE INEBOLU was boarded by Saudi Navy team, which closed down all ship’s communications. Bulk carrier was ordered to sail to Jizan port, Saudi Arabia. Company’s statement was written on board of the ship after company’s representatives were allowed to board the ship by Saudi forces.
Statement and all photos here: http://www.denizhaber.com/deniz-kazalari/ince-denizcilik-fuze-saldirisina-iliskin-basin-aciklamasi-yapti-h74939.html
Understood INCE INEBOLU is in Jizan port since May 12, AIS obviously, is switched off.
In other words, the statement was written under Saudi forces close supervision. Prior to that, Saudi Arabia said an explosion occurred inside the ship, not mentioning possibility of an attack. Undoubtedly the statement is Saudi Arabia’s version of an accident. Saudis soon found out, that their inner explosion version just doesn’t fit, after thankfully, photos were made public. But missile hit scenario doesn’t fit, either. Houthis said, that there was an air strike, and photos fit into Houthis version. Saudis meanwhile, lied from the very beginning, and most probably, lied again.
I don’t know and don’t understand what exactly is going on in Yemen and why Saudi Arabia is fighting Houthi (as well as why Houthi are considered to be terrorists, and Saudis aren’t), but Houthis are no less trustworthy in what they say about this or that accident, than Saudi Arabia does. Most probably, Saudis will blame Houthi for INCE INEBOLU accident, but facts tell otherwise. Who cares, though? Saudis are, for now at least, good guys, according to major media. Houthi are bad guys, and this is it.

Update May 12: Rather funny stories appeared in media with regards to bulk carrier INCE INEBOLU incident off Yemeni port Saleef – all stories follow in the wake of a story and updates published by Reuters, which in its’ turn, relies on Saudi officials as the main source. Some Yemeni and probably, Iranian media, tell a different story, which seems to be more trustworthy.
According to those contradicting major media and Saudi officials, Saudi forces demanded INCE INEBOLU to stop for an inspection. Captain refused, because the ship already underwent UNVIM inspection in Djibouti prior to Saleef call. After that, Saudis launched an air strike. Captain didn’t ask Saudi and Arab Coalition forces for help after attack.
According to AIS track, INCE INEBOLU hasn’t been taken on tow to be towed to Saudi port Jizan, though probably, she may be forced to call it, but hardly willingly. Latest AIS available position at 1200 UTC May 11 was in 15 38N 41 21E, moving in NW direction at 11 knots speed, apparently under own power, towards Suez on the look of it.
Reuters and followers cited Colation officials and “maritime sources”:
“Coalition forces conducted a survey of the incident and visited the ship and found an explosion from the inside to the outside,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The captain said he did not know the cause of the damage, the spokesman said. The coalition later towed the ship to the port of Jizan in Saudi Arabia.
A shipping source said separately it was possible the damage was either caused by overheating of parts of the ship or a missile.
I don’t know which “maritime sources” did they consult – probably those among outlets staff, which went on cruises and since then, are considered to be maritime experts. What “overheating” Reuters and its’ source are talking about? Look at photos, it’s all there. One shouldn’t be explosives expert or Navy veteran to understand, that there was, or were, hits – either by bombs, or by missiles, or by shells. Bombs or missiles or shells hit cargo deck, went through it and explode inside, in a cargo hold.
If anything, that Saudis statement ““Coalition forces conducted a survey of the incident and visited the ship and found an explosion from the inside to the outside,” makes Saudis the main suspect in this apparent attack.

Turkish bulk carrier INCE INEBOLU reportedly was fired upon or hit by missiles by Saudi forces while trying to approach port of destination Saleef (Hodeidah), Yemen, with 49770 tons of wheat on board, being authorized by UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) office in Djibouti, after the required inspection. Understood the wheat originated from Russia, and was loaded in Novorossiysk. The ship was fired upon on most probably, May 10, while approaching Saleef.
As of 1200 UTC May 11, INCE INEBOLU was sailing in NW direction in Red sea towards Suez, away from Yemeni coast.
Judging from photos, bulk carrier either was fired upon by Navy ship, or was hit by missiles.
Bulk carrier INCE INEBOLU, IMO 9254472, dwt 52376, built 2002, flag Turkey, manager INCE DENIZCILIK VE TICARET A.S.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.