A bulker has “sustained serious damage” after a direct strike by an unidentified object in the Red Sea, maritime security firm Diaplous reported on Wednesday.

The Liberia-flagged vessel is “getting water into the engine compartment”, Diaplous said without identifying the vessel.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations later said the ship had been “struck on the stern by a small craft” which is described as “white in colour and 5 to 7 metres in length”.