Missing yacht with 3 Russians, 2 Egyptians reaches safety


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A missing yacht with three Russians and two Egyptians onboard reached safety in Djibouti in east Africa on Thursday, after going missing for days following an attack off the coast of Yemen, its owner said.

Owner Dmitriy Chuguevskiy told The Associated Press that the vessel reached Djibouti after being detained for several days by authorities off the coast of neighboring Eritrea. Bullet holes in the ship after an attack off Yemen had raised the suspicions of Eritrean authorities, Chuguevskiy said.

Chuguevskiy shared photos of the yacht, named 30 Minutes, anchored in Djibouti. The vessel had scrapes and what appeared to be bullet holes in its hull.

Regional maritime officials and Eritrea’s Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the vessel. Chuguevskiy and Russia’s Embassy in Saudi Arabia had earlier this week reported the 30 Minutes’ disappearance.

It wasn’t immediately clear who attacked the ship. However, Yemen’s Iranian-backed rebels known as Houthis have carried out other at-sea attacks amid that country’s long war. In January 2022, the Houthis seized the Emirati ship Rwabee. The Houthis described the vessel as carrying military weapons, while the Saudi-led coalition – the rebels’ adversary in the yearslong civil war in Yemen – described it as carrying disassembled hospital equipment. The ship and its Indian crew were later released.

In May, the Lakota, a 62-foot (19-meter) trimaran purchased by famed French yachtsman Philippe Poupon, found itself attacked off the coast of Yemen’s port city of Hodeida. Militants fired some 20 warning shots and displayed assault rifles and the rocket-propelled grenade launchers. One briefly boarded the ship before fleeing.