Yemen authorities have informed that a ferry carrying at least 55 people has gone missing in the Indian Ocean near Yemen's eastern coast. The incident was reported by local authorities in Socotra Island. They further informed that the ferry that's owned by a local trader left the country's province of Mahrah on Wednesday but failed to arrive on time. This raised suspicion after which the boat was searched in the region.
"We received a report on Saturday that a ferry went missing after leaving the port of Mahrah towards Socotra Island with 55 people on board," Socotra's local authority said in a statement to the media.
Saudi-led Arab coalition's military units have a presence in Yemen's eastern provinces including Mahrah in an attempt to enhance security and combat smuggling operations. Other Yemeni security units backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are also present in the country's Island of Socotra. UAE and Saudi Arabia led a military coalition to intervene in Yemen's civil war in 2015 to restore the government of President Hadi. The island's authorities said that they had made all necessary communications with the coalition for the rescue of the boat.
"We made necessary communications with the Saudi-led coalition after receiving the information about the ferry that went missing and a search and rescue operation was launched," a local official added.
Socotra is located between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea. It is the largest of four islands in the Socotra archipelago. The territory is located near major shipping routes and is officially part of Yemen, and was earlier a subdivision of the Aden Governorate. Later in 2004, it became attached to the Hadhramaut Governate, which is much closer to the island than Aden. Finally, in 2013, the archipelago became its own governorate, the Socotra Governate. The island is a UNESCO world natural heritage site protected by the UN body for its unique flora and fauna.
(With inputs from ANI)