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Photo shows the M/V Tutor sinking after it was struck by a Houthi unmanned vessel on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

Photo shows the M/V Tutor sinking after it was struck by a Houthi unmanned vessel on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

M/V Tutor Sinks After Houthi Attack in Red Sea

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 10662
June 18, 2024

The M/V Tutor appears to have sunk after it was struck in the stern last week by an unmanned surface vessel in the Red Sea.

The sinking marks the second commercial vessel sunk by the Houthis since the Iranian-backed terrorist group began attacking merchant ships in November in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The sinking follows the loss of the Rubymar in the Southern Red Sea in early March.

An update from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) office on Tuesday said that military authorities reported seeing debris and oil in the last known location of the Tutor. “The vessel is believed to have sunk in position 14’19’N 041’14’E,” the update said.

The Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier was initially struck in the stern by an unmanned small craft on June 12 while underway in the Southern Red Sea. The vessel was later struck by a second time by “an unknown airborne projectile.”

The incident marked the first time Houthis had successfully used an unmanned surface vessel in their attacks.

Photos posted online over the weekend showed the Tutor sinking by its stern.

On Saturday, the UKMTO said the ship’s crew was evacuated and that the abandoned vessel was drifting in the Red Sea. The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said on Sunday that sailors assigned to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group airlifted the crew out on Saturday, adding that one civilian sailor remained missing.

On June 13, the day after the initial attack on the Tutor, the Houthis also hit the M/V Verbena with two missiles, causing fires and damage to the ship. The Verbena is a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk carrier. One civilian mariner was severely injured and later evacuated for medical attention by aircraft from USS Philippine Sea.

The crew of the Verbena sent out a distress call on Saturday indicating they were abandoning ship. The M/V Anna Meta responded to the call, assisting in the rescue of the mariners and transporting them to safety.

According to U.S. Central Command, the Iranian frigate IRIN Jamaran was eight nautical miles from the Verbena but did not respond to the distress call.

The sinking of the Tutor comes seven months after the Houthis seized the Galaxy Leader car carrier and its 25 crew members, who are still being held captive on board the vessel off Yemen. Since then, the Houthis have carried out numerous drone and missile attacks, posing a significant threat to the lives of seafarers and global freedom of navigation.

The missing crew member from the Tutor is the fourth civilian seafarer killed in the attacks, following the deaths of three seafarers on board the True Confidence after the ship was struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile in the Gulf of Aden in early March.

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