Shipping industry appalled and saddened at Houthi attacks on vessels Tutor and Verbena

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The shipping community, speaking on behalf of 14 of the leading global shipping associations, says it is appalled and deeply saddened with the tragic news that yet another seafarer seems certain to have been killed in a drone boat strike on Wednesday 12 June while on board the MV Tutor in the Red Sea.

“We utterly condemn these assaults which directly contravene the fundamental principle of freedom of navigation.

“Our thoughts and condolences go to the family and loved ones of the seafarer who tragically lost their life. It is deplorable that innocent seafarers are being attacked while simply performing their jobs, vital jobs which keep the world warm, fed, and clothed.

“This is the second fatal attack in which our seafarers have been caught in the crosshairs of geopolitical conflicts. Three seafarers tragically lost their lives when the True Confidence was attacked earlier this year. And we must not forget the crew members from the Galaxy Leader and MSC Aries who are still being held captive.

“Furthermore, we strongly condemn the attack on the cargo ship Verbena on Thursday 13 June which left a seafarer severely injured by anti-ship cruise missiles.

“This is an unacceptable situation, and these attacks must stop now. We call for States with influence in the region to safeguard our innocent seafarers and for the swift de-escalation of the situation in the Red Sea. We have heard the condemnation and appreciate the words of support, but we urgently seek action to stop the unlawful attacks on these vital workers and this vital industry.

“We hope that on this year’s Day of The Seafarer on Tuesday 25 June the world takes a moment to recognise the immense contribution that seafarers make to the global economy and the unjust circumstances they are facing in the Red Sea and across the world.”

The above letter is co-signed by the following organisations:

Asian Shipowners Association (ASA); BIMCO; Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA); European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA); InterManager; International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO); International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH); International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA); International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC); International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA); International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA); The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA); World Shipping Council (WSC).

On Thursday 13 June, at around 13:45 local time, the Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier Verbena (IMO 9522075) issued an urgent message that the ship had been struck and was on fire and that the crew were abandoning ship. One of their crew was reported as seriously injured.

Verbena had been struck by two missiles fired by the Houthis. A merchant ship named Anna Meta was able to respond and reported that it had recovered the seafarers from the Verbena.

The Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Tutor (IMO 9942627) which was struck by a Houthi uncrewed surface vessel (USV) while sailing in the Red Sea on Wednesday 12 June 2024, has been abandoned by her crew. The subsequent explosion resulted in severe engine flooding and has resulted in the vessel being abandoned by her crew.

A civilian seafarer on the ship is reported as missing. He was thought to have been in the engine room at the time of the explosion.

The crew were rescued by the USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and partner forces from the Dwight D Eisenhower strike group which is operating in the area.

Written by Africa Ports & Ships and defenceWeb. The original article can be found here.