This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the Galaxy Leadership anchored offshore of As Salif, Yemen, on Nov 2023. AP
The unnamed Bahamas-flagged vessel was "struck by a rocket" while sailing south around 35 nautical miles off Yemen's western coast, maritime security firm Ambrey said, citing reports.
"The affected vessel was issuing distress calls relating to piracy/missile attack," the UK-based company added.
It noted reports that "an international naval asset in the vicinity of the incident" was likely proceeding to the ship's location.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency, run by Britain's Royal Navy, said it had received "a report of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) activity including a potential explosion... originating from the direction of Yemen".
It advised vessels in the area to "exercise caution".
The reported incident comes amid heightened tensions in the Red Sea and surrounding waters after Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo vessel, the Galaxy Leader, last month.
Within days two ballistic missiles were also launched from an area controlled by Houthi rebels in Yemen, landing around 10 nautical miles from a US destroyer, the USS Mason, according to the Pentagon.
The Houthis have fired a series of drone and missile strikes targeting Israel since October 7.
The spike in maritime incidents prompted G7 foreign ministers at a meeting earlier this week to urge the rebels to cease threats to international shipping and to release the Galaxy Leader.