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Crew evacuated as ship hit by Yemen rebels drifts in Red Sea

Messenger Desk

Published: 09:31, 15 June 2024

Crew evacuated as ship hit by Yemen rebels drifts in Red Sea

Photo: Collected 

The crew of a ship that was holed in an attack by Yemen's Huthi rebels has been evacuated and the vessel is drifting in the Red Sea, a security agency said on Friday. The MV Tutor was abandoned after it was struck by a sea drone off rebel-held Hodeida on Wednesday, causing serious flooding, in the latest in a series of Huthi attacks.

The Iran-backed rebels have been harassing the vital sea lane since shortly after the start of the Israel-Hamas war, forcing much marine traffic into lengthy detours.

"The crew of the vessel has been evacuated by military authorities," said the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which is run by the British navy.

"The vessel has been abandoned and is drifting."

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos had earlier pledged to help the Filipino seamen on board and transfer them to Djibouti, across the Red Sea from Yemen, with the UKMTO's help.

"We are doing everything that we can do," he said in a statement.

The Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned and operated merchant ship was hit by a sea drone and an "unknown aerial projectile", the US military's Central Command said on Wednesday.

Security firm Ambrey said it was the first time the Huthis had hit a ship using remote-controlled, water-borne explosives.

It was one of a surge of attacks this week, one of which badly injured a sailor who was evacuated by US forces from the MV Verbena in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday.

They follow the latest retaliatory strikes by US and British forces last month which killed 16 people, according to the Huthis, who threatened to escalate their activities.