Shipping industry calls for action following the attack on the MV Tutor and cargo ship Verbena

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(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) The international shipping industry has expressed profound outrage and grave concern following the reported sinking of the M/V Tutor. One crew member is lost after military authorities observed debris and oil at the Tutor’s last known location on Tuesday.

This incident represents the second sinking of a commercial vessel by the Houthis, an Iranian-backed terrorist group, since the commencement of their attacks on merchant ships in November.

The Tutor, a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned bulk carrier, was initially struck in the stern by an unmanned small craft on June 12 in the Southern Red Sea, marking the first successful deployment of an unmanned surface vessel in Houthi attacks. The ship was subsequently hit by an “unknown airborne projectile.”

A day after the Tutor incident, the Houthis attacked the M/V Verbena with two missiles, causing fires and extensive damage. The Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk carrier has since been abandoned. One civilian mariner sustained severe injuries and was later airlifted for medical treatment.

The sinking of the Tutor follows seven months after the Houthis seized the Galaxy Leader car carrier along with its 25 crew members, who remain captive off the coast of Yemen. Since the seizure, the Houthis have executed numerous drone and missile attacks, presenting a significant threat to seafarers and global navigation.

With the disappearance of the Tutor crew member, the tally of civilian seafarers killed in these attacks has increased to four, following the deaths of three crew members on the True Confidence, which was struck by an anti-ship ballistic missile in the Gulf of Aden in early March.

In response to these attacks, various shipping industry groups have issued a joint statement, expressing their horror and calling for decisive action. The consortium condemned the assaults as direct violations of the freedom of navigation and extended their condolences to the families of the fallen seafarers. They also urged immediate measures to halt these attacks and called upon regional powers to ensure the safety of innocent seafarers.

The joint statement:

The shipping community 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.

Please kindly see below the full list of co-signatories to this statement.

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), INTERTANKO, The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA), World Shipping Council (WSC).

Download the full statement with the list of signatories below:

download

 

Source: International Chamber of Shipping

 

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