Egypt Patches Up and Sends Off Bulker After Houthi Missile Strike
Egyptian authorities are reporting that they completed repairs to the Malta-registered bulker Zografia in record time. The vessel, which was hit by a Houthi missile on January 16, finished repairs and departed Egypt over the weekend.
The repairs to the bulker were completed at the Suez Shipyard Company and showed the extent of the damage from a single anti-ship missile strike. The hit on the Zografia appeared to come from above hitting the ship near the No. 2 cargo hold and leaving an exit wound below the waterline in the vessel’s boot topping. The bulker was empty at the time of the attack or it might well have left the ship open to the water.
The shipyard reports that it replaced hull plating and some internal steel structure in the cargo hold. In addition, they carried out repairs to piping, including the hydraulic control pipes, in what they called record time. The vessel arrived at the shipyard on January 22 with a large hole visible in the hull and departed on January 27 with the yard saying the work was completed in four days. In addition, ClassNK inspected the ship and the repairs, approving all the maintenance work carried out by the shipyard. The yard reports it worked around the clock to complete the repairs.
Inbound to the shipyard last week with the visible hole from the missile (SCA)
The master of the vessel, Captain Borys Basenko, is quoted in a statement by the Suez Canal Authority. He thanks the yard for its rapid response and understanding of the emergency situation.
Lieutenant General Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, affirmed in the same statement the authority’s constant readiness to cooperate with its customers, including shipping lines and agencies. He says they are ready to “reduce the impact of the current conditions in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab, by providing all necessary navigational services and repair and maintenance services that transiting ships may need in the event of breakdowns or emergency situations.”
This comes as reports are that the Suez Canal has experienced a nearly 50 percent decline in transits since the onset of the Houthi attacks.
The vessel seen departing Egypt was riding high when the missile struck (SCA)
The bulker is shown to be owned and managed from Greece, where she is now heading. Online databases however reflect that she had been in Israel in May 2023, possibly accounting for why she was targeted by the Houthi. The 58,894 dwt bulker was built in China in 2010 and appears to have always been Greek-owned. She is 623 feet (190 meters) in length.
After arriving in Piraeus on Wednesday, January 31, some databases are showing that the vessel reports it will be traveling back through the Suez Canal. It is unclear if the information is accurate but it says she would be heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where she is due in March. After last week’s close call, it is unclear if they would attempt another Southern Red Sea passage.