Video does not show a British-registered ship sinking after Houthi attack

21 February 2024
What was claimed

A video shows a British ship sinking after being attacked by “Yemeni armed forces”.

Our verdict

False. The footage actually shows a ship being scuttled off the coast of Brazil in 2020.

Following an attack on a British-registered cargo ship in the Red Sea reportedly by the Yemeni Houthi rebel group on Sunday, 18 February, a video is being shared on X and Facebook with a caption claiming to show “The moment the British ship sank after being targeted by the Yemeni armed forces.”

The footage actually shows a ship being scuttled (intentionally sunk) off the coast of Brazil in 2020.

The video clip appears to be taken from footage posted on YouTube on 12 June 2020, showing an ore-carrier named Stellar Banner, which was owned by South Korean company Polaris Shipping and flew under the flag of the Marshall Islands, being scuttled after having reportedly run aground off the coast of Brazil earlier in the year.

A ship called the Rubymar—which is owned by a British-registered company and Belize-flagged—was reportedly hit by missiles fired by the Houthis on Sunday, with the UK government confirming that its crew has since abandoned the vessel.

At the time of writing it has not been independently confirmed whether the ship has sunk.

In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of images and videos circulating on social media misleadingly claiming to show events in the Red Sea and Yemen. Full Fact often sees miscaptioned videos and images spread quickly online during large news stories and significant events. You can read more about identifying misleading images and videos using our guides.

Image courtesy of World Wind

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