Second ship attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels sinks in the Red Sea


A cargo ship sank in the Red Sea Wednesday after being attacked by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the U.K. military’s Maritime Trade Operations center (UKMTO) said in a notice to other sailors in the region. One mariner on board was believed to have died in the attack, The Associated Press reported, which would make it the second deadly attack by the Houthis on international shipping.

The ship, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier called the Tutor, was the second to sink due to a Houthi attack. The first was a British-owned vessel struck by a missile in early March. Nobody was killed in that attack, but the sinking vessel is believed to have severed several undersea communications cables.

U.S. officials said a Houthi missile attack on another commercial ship, in the Gulf of Aden, also in March, killed at least three people and injured four others.

Gulf of Aden area, connecting Red Sea and Arabian Sea, political map

Getty/iStockphoto


The warning from the UKMTO on Tuesday said the Tutor was hit on the stern on June 12 by a small, white craft that was around six yards long. The carrier began taking on water and was then hit by an “unknown airborne projectile.” The crew was evacuated and maritime debris and oil was reported at the vessel’s last-known location, indicating the vessel had sunk.

The United States Navy assisted in evacuating the crew of the ship when it was attacked on June 12. In a statement on Monday, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group said the attack on the Tutor had caused severe damage and flooding to its engine room, and that one mariner remained missing.

It said a navy helicopter had lifted 24 mariners from the Tutor to the USS Philippine Sea, then transferred them to the American aircraft carrier for medical checks before flying them ashore for further care.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Naval forces rescue crew from Greek-owned ship struck by Houthis in Red Sea
Sailors from the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group assist distressed mariners rescued from the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier M/V Tutor that was attacked by Houthis in the Red Sea, June 15, 2024.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet/Handout


Houthi attacks on commercial vessels have continued in the vital shipping corridors of the Red Sea and surrounding waters since November. The Houthis call the attacks a direct response to the Israel-Hamas war. The Yemeni rebel group is backed by Iran, like Hamas.

The U.S. accused Iran in December of being “deeply involved” in the attacks on Red Sea shipping. 

On June 13, the U.S. Navy evacuated a severely injured mariner from the Palau-flagged, Ukrainian-owned Verbena, which was sailing in the Gulf of Aden when it was struck by two anti-ship cruise missiles fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.



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