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Bulker Tutor Sinks, Becoming Second Vessel Lost From Houthi Attacks

Bulker Tutor sinking
Tutor shown down at the stern after the attacks (FFEAU ALINDIEN photo from June 14)

Published Jun 18, 2024 4:17 PM by The Maritime Executive


The bulker Tutor (82,357 dwt) is believed to have gone down overnight in the Red Sea off Eritrea. Officials had warned when the ship was evacuated by U.S. and French forces last Friday that the engine room was flooded and it was continuing to slowly take on water.

The UK Maritime Trade Organizations received reports from the Red Sea of debris and oil spotted in the position of the vessel. It had been drifting west in the Red Sea from a position north of the Bab al-Mandeb where it was struck on June 12. The vessel is the first to have been hit by one of the Houthis’ unmanned, remote-controlled boats laden with explosives. The impact caused severe damage at the stern and flooding.

While the vessel was disabled and drifting the Houthis stagged a second attack on the same vessel hours later. The ship was hit by at least one additional missile. During the initial attack, one of the engineers went missing and his body was not recovered from the vessel. The remaining 21 crewmembers were evacuated in an operation by U.S. and French forces. They returned to the Philippines on Monday recounting their experiences. 

Officials from the Philippines had said at the end of last week that while the vessel was disabled they did not think it was sinking. Reuters reported that Tsavliris Salvage Group had received the assignment to tow the vessel. They indicated that the first salvage vessel was expected to reach the Tutor on Monday and the second late today.

 

 

Built in 2022, the Tutor was registered in Liberia and owned and managed by Greece’s Evalend Shipping. The company has not made a public statement but reports were that the vessel was carrying 80,000 tonnes of coal. The Houthis accused the shipping company of making calls in Israeli ports. On Saturday, June 15, a Houthi spokesperson claimed that the Tutor was in danger of sinking while another vessel attacked the same day, the Verbena, had already sunk. That has not been confirmed.

The Tutor becomes the second vessel known to have sunk due to the attacks by the Houthis. Another bulker, Rubymar, drifted in the Red Sea for nearly two weeks after being hit by a missile before it sank in March. Another vessel, the True Confidence, was damaged by a Houthi attack which started a fire and killed three crewmembers. The crew also abandoned that vessel in the Gulf of Aden, but while there have been other vessels holed by strikes these were the most devastating causalities in the well over 100 vessels targeted since the attacks began in November 2023.