The 32,200-dwt Rubymar (built 1997), the highest-profile casualty of the Houthi group’s campaign against shipping, has finally sunk in the Red Sea.

The vessel went down at about 02:15 am local time on Saturday, the US military said in a statement. It was owned and managed by the Lebanon and Greece-based Blue Fleet Group and GMZ Ship Management.

“As the ship sinks, it ... presents a subsurface impact risk to other ships,” the US Central Command (Centcom) said.

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) had earlier said that the vessel was “down by the stern, bow … above the waterline” at 13-21.19N 042-57.64E. This is in line with a picture of the stricken ship provided by Centcom.

The Rubymar is the first of about 60 vessels to sink after suffering an attack by the Houthis, who began their campaign against commercial shipping in mid-November.

Its crew of 11 Syrians, six Egyptians, four Filipinos and three Indians were safely evacuated after leaving the vessel at anchor on 19 February in the Bab el-Mandeb strait.

The ship, which was already taking on water and listing heavily then, had been drifting northward since, dragging its anchor.

TradeWinds reported that the Rubymar was hit at about 22:00 GMT on 18 February, about 35 nautical miles (65 km) south of the Yemeni port town of Mokha.

The attack came without warning. Two missiles hit the ship, leading to water ingress near the engine room.

Owners had been mulling a potential salvage operation. Still, it was always doubtful that would be feasible, given the Houthi threat in the area, the vessel’s lack of stability and the potentially dangerous class 5.1 fertiliser cargo it was carrying.

Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi had already warned earlier in the week that his group would only allow a salvage operation to go ahead if humanitarian aid was sent to Gaza.

That is in line with the stated — though not always consistent — Houthi policy to attack ships linked with Israel, the US and the UK to pressure them to stop the war being waged against the Hamas group in Gaza.

The Houthis targeted the Rubymar because its registered owner, Golden Adventure Shipping, is an entity based in the UK.