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Red Sea Crisis

Bulker struck by drone boat in Red Sea

Saudi Forces Houthi-USV-Saudi-Forces.png
The Houthis have claimed responsibility for an attack which left a bulk carrier out of control and taking on water after strikes from a drone boat and airborne projectile.

Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned and operated bulk carrier Tutor was struck by a suspected drone boat or unmanned surface vehicle (USV) in the Red Sea, according to multiple reports, causing severe flooding and damage to the engine room.

A report to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) put the incident at 0714 hrs UTC on June 12, 66NM southwest of Al Hudaydah in Yemen.

The USV which struck Tutor was described as a small white craft of five to seven metres in length, and impacted the vessel on the stern. According to UKMTO, the vessel’s master reported the ship as taking on water and not under control of the crew; a third update reported another impact on the vessel from an unknown airborne projectile.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said Tutor had most recently docked in Russia.

Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming the vessel was now vulnerable to sinking, although the group has exaggerated the impact of its attacks in the past. The Houthis claimed the ship had violated its ban on entry into ports in occupied Palestine. 

The attack contributed to a busy 24-hour period in the Red Sea, according to CENTCOM. The US military body said forces had destroyed three anti-ship cruise missile launchers in a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen, as well as an uncrewed aerial system launched over the Red Sea from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen. 
Separately, the launch of two anti-ship ballistic missiles over the Red Sea from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen brought no reports of injuries or damage from either the US coalition or commercial shipping in the region.