THE BULK carrier Rubymar has sunk in the southern Red Sea.

Yemen’s Ansar Allah (also known as the Houthis) attacked the vessel with ballistic missiles almost two weeks ago, causing the crew to abandon ship.

The US military on 2 March confirmed the vessel sank after “slowly taking on water since the “unprovoked attack” in February.

Central Command said the sunken vessel and its cargo threaten to damage the environment.

“The approximately 21,000 metric tons of ammonium phosphate sulfate fertilizer that the vessel was carrying presents an environmental risk in the Red Sea,” Central Command said in a statement.

“As the ship sinks it also presents a subsurface impact risk to other ships transiting the busy shipping lanes of the waterway.”

Belize-flagged Rubymar is the first ship to sink since Ansar Allah began attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in November last year.

“The Iran-backed Houthis pose a heightened threat to global maritime activities,” Central Command said.

“The United States and coalition partners remain committed to safeguarding freedom of navigation, striving to enhance the safety and security of international waters for merchant shipping.”