Commodity Ship Hit by Drone Near Yemen Is Taking on Water

By , and Kateryna Kadabashy | June 13, 2024

A commodity carrier was taking on water after being hit by a drone near Yemen, the latest incident underscoring the dangers of sailing through the Red Sea region.

The UK Navy said Wednesday that a ship was hit by a small craft that was 5-7 meters (16-23 feet) in length. The vessel’s master had reported to authorities that the crew was no longer in command of the ship, the Navy said. It was subsequently hit by a second projectile and military authorities are assisting.

The vessel is a commodity-hauling bulk carrier called Tutor, according to people familiar with the matter. Maritime security company Diaplous earlier said the ship had water in its engine compartment and that the craft was likely a sea drone.

Tutor, which is 750-feet long and has a transportation capacity of about 80,000 tons, was last observed late last week sailing south into the Red Sea near the Suez Canal, according vessel-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

Yemen’s Houthi militants claimed responsibility for the attack in a televised statement by a spokesperson, who said the vessel could sink after being hit.

Houthi militant attacks on ships in the Red Sea have been ongoing since the end of last year and have caused a reduction in traffic of about 70% compared with the start of December. A major shipping executive said Wednesday that even if there is a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, it’s unlikely that the majority of vessels will return to the waterway immediately.

Evalend Shipping, the Athens-based owner of the vessel, didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment on Wednesday.

Photograph: Yemen’s Shiite Huthi rebels. Photo credit: Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images


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