JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia rescued on Tuesday an injured crew member from a “hostile” Iranian ship off the coast of Yemen.
The crew member was airlifted from the Iranian-registered Saviz, which was more than 170 kilometers northwest of the port of Hodeidah, the Arab coalition fighting to restore the government of Yemen, said.
The ship is registered as a commercial cargo vessel, but coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki, said the Saviz serves as a military vessel.
Al-Malki said the assistance was provided “despite the threat represented by this suspect vessel … the hostile acts it carries out against coalition forces and the interests of the Yemeni people and its continued threats to maritime lanes and global trade on the Red Sea.”
The Saudi rescuers were despatched after a distress call from the ship was received by coordination teams in the Kingdom and passed on to the Center for Coordination of Search and Rescue in Jeddah.
Al-Maliki said Saudi Arabia also received a formal request from the Iranian charge d’affaires to the United Nations for assistance.
“The crew member had sustained a serious injury and his health had deteriorated,” the coalition said.
Col. Al-Maliki said a coalition naval ship nearby was directed to the Saviz.
Medical assistance was provided to the wounded man by a coalition team.
He was then taken by hospital to a military hospital in Jazan at 6:30 p.m. local time (3:20 p.m. GMT).