Creating new perspectives since 2009

Salvage firm confirms sinking of Greek-owned ‘Tutor’ struck by Houthis

June 19, 2024 at 1:55 pm

An Israeli navy missile boat patrols in the Red Sea off the coast of Israel’s southern port city of Eliat on 26 December, 2023 [ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Greek-owned “Tutor” coal carrier attacked by Yemen’s Houthis in the Red Sea last week has sunk, salvagers confirmed on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

The “Tutor” was struck with missiles and an explosive-laden remote-controlled boat on 12 June and had been taking on water, according to sources including maritime security companies and the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

The UKMTO said, on Tuesday, that the vessel was believed to have become the second ship sunk by the Houthis in the region since November.

The Houthis say their attacks on international shipping accessing the Suez Canal via the Red Sea are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Two salvage vessels were on their way to recover the “Tutor” when they were informed that the ship was believed to have sunk, Andreas Tsavliris, one of Tsavliris’ Salvage owners, told Reuters.

Naval forces had informed vessels sailing to the area on Tuesday afternoon that the Liberia-flagged “Tutor” had sunk and that there was debris and evidence of oil at the site.

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

“Therefore we abandoned the mission,” Tsavliris said.

The ship’s Athens-based manager, Evalend Shipping, did not respond to Reuters‘ requests for comment.

The ship was carrying 22 crew members from the Philippines who were evacuated on 14 June by military authorities and repatriated.

One crew member, believed to have been working in the “Tutor’s” engine room at the time of the attacks near the Yemeni port of Hudaydah, remains missing, the Philippines’ Department of Migrant Workers has reported.

The UK-owned “Rubymar” was the first ship sunk by the Houthis. It sank on 2 March, about two weeks after being struck by missiles.

Last week, the Houthis also seriously damaged the Palau-flagged “Verbena”, which was loaded with wood construction materials.

Sailors from the “Verbena” abandoned ship when they were unable to contain a fire sparked by the attacks. The vessel is now drifting in the Gulf of Aden and vulnerable to sinking or further assaults.

The Houthi drone and missile assaults have forced shipping firms to divert vessels away from the Red Sea and Suez Canal to the longer route around the southern tip of Africa, delaying deliveries and raising freight costs.

READ: Houthis say end of military operations depends on end of Israel’s assault in Gaza