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Houthis boarded disabled Tutor; threatened Verbena

The Houthi leadership said on television late last week that its forces had boarded the now sunken Tutor (IMO 9942627), hastening its sinking, while making a similar threat to the abandoned bulker Verbena (IMO 9522075) still afloat and drifting in the Gulf of Aden.

The declared leader of the Houthis, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, referred to the “fourth stage of the escalation”. He said that the militia were “able to board the ship Tutor, and booby-trapped it and blew it up after it was first hit by a military boat.”

Images have since been released showing multiple explosions at the stern of the disabled ship, which by then had been abandoned and was drifting in the Red Sea.

There had been similar unconfirmed allegations in March that the Houthi also boarded the Rubymar, a bulker carrying fertilizer to Lebanon, and also sabotaged it causing the vessel that had been drifting for days to suddenly sink. The Houthi were able to reach both vessels after the crews abandoned ship and before salvage teams arrived at the vessels.

During the speech, the Houthis said “There is a second ship that is about to sink in the Gulf of Aden” – presumably a reference to the cargo ship Verbena – which the Houthis had previously claimed to have sunk already.

The Verbena was abandoned when the crew was unable to control a fire started by the Houthi attack.

2022-built, Liberia-flagged, 44,479 gt Tutor is owned by Livenza Shipping Inc care of manager Evalend Shipping Co SA of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Livenza Shipping Inc.

2008-built, Palau-flagged, 7,569 gt Verbena is owned by Tradex Transportation Inc care of manager Dtschart SP zoo of Zyardow, Poland.

Source Insurance Marine News, June 24th 2024


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