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Rescue underway for crew of Greek-owned vessel hit by Houthis, Philippines says

June 14, 2024 at 3:04 pm

Philippines President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. meeting in Berlin, Germany [Halil Sağırkaya – Anadolu Agency]

The crew of a Greek-owned vessel, “Tutor”, that was damaged in an attack by Yemeni Houthis in the Red Sea should be rescued within the day, although one sailor is still missing, the Philippines said on Friday, Reuters reports.

The attack near the Yemeni port of Hudaydah on Wednesday caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room and left the “Tutor”, a Liberia-flagged coal carrier, unable to manoeuvre. It was taking in water and was in need of rescue.

The Houthis have taken responsibility for the boat and missile attack on the “Tutor”. The Houthis have made repeated drone and missile strikes on ships in the shipping channels of the Red Sea, the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden since November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war.

The 22 crew members on board are mostly Filipino, Hans Cacdac, the Philippines Department of Migrant Workers Secretary, told a press conference in Manila.

“Rescue is forthcoming within the day,” he said, adding that he could not disclose further information for security reasons.

Philippine President, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., said the country’s authorities were coordinating with the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) to take the crew members to Djibouti and bring them back home.

The missing crew member was suspected to be trapped in the engine room, maritime sources said. The rest of the crew were “safe and sound” and had adequate food supplies, Cacdac said, citing the captain.

“Right now, we are still in the process of trying to ascertain or trying to account for the particular seafarer in that ship. We are praying we could find him,” Cacdac said.

The ship’s Athens-based manager, Evalend Shipping, has not responded to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The Houthi campaign in the Red Sea region has disrupted global shipping, cascading delays and costs through supply chains. They have sunk one ship, seized another vessel and killed three seafarers in separate attacks.

READ: UKMTO says it received report of incident north-west of Yemen Hudaydah