A famous 117-year-old yacht once owned by Hollywood actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton found itself in a skirmish off the Yemen coast on Friday.
Security guards on the super yacht, Kalizma, now owned by Shirish Saraf, the Indian billionaire, fired at an approaching vessel that belonged to the Yemeni Coast Guard after mistaking those for pirates, the DW reported.
A member of the Yemeni Coast Guard was killed in the gunfire. Per reports, nearly 200 rounds of ammunition were exchanged, per reports from the Associated Press (AP).
Video Credits: Javier Montesol / YouTube
While the Gulf of Aden is a crucial trade channel, it also is a hotbed for pirates, especially those from nearby Somalia, per news sources.
The AP, referring to a report from Ambrey, a well-known maritime intelligence firm, reported that the Yemeni Coast Guard approached the super yacht only after it had failed to respond to the radio calls. The Yemeni Coast Guard informed Ambery that armed men on board had begun to shoot as they approached.
The Yemeni Coast Guard returned the fire and chased the yacht for about an hour until it responded to the radio calls, clearing the misunderstanding, per reports.
The Coast Guard mentioned that the vessel had been acting suspiciously as it had armed men and was approaching close to the Yemeni coast, per a statement by the local outlet named Aden AlGad. Satellite data reviewed by the AP reflected that the Kalizma was near the coast.
The owner of Mumbai-based West Coast Marine Yacht Services, which reportedly manages the yacht, said that the pirates had attacked the super yacht, per the AP.
Aashim Mongia raised the question that if it was the Yemeni Coast Guard, why would they open fire?
References: India Today, Superyacht Times, Insider