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Red Sea Crisis

Shipping industry repeats call for action following fatal attack in Red Sea

Photo: Telegram - @warlife3 verbana-damage.jpg
Damage to the Verdana - taken from Telegram
Fourteen industry organisations have strongly condemned attacks by the Houthi on the vessels Tutor and Verbana that left one seafarer dead, and another seriously injured.

The shipping community has issued a statement saying it is “appalled and saddened” by the drone boat strike on June 12 on the bulker Tutor in the Red Sea which killed a seafarer onboard. The Tutor was abandoned following the attack and the UKMTO reported that the vessel is believed to have sunk.

The industry also strongly condemned a missile attack the following day on the cargoship Verbana which resulted in a seafarer being seriously injured.

“We utterly condemn these assaults which directly contravene the fundamental principle of freedom of navigation,” the organisations stated.

“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.”

It is the second fatal attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea since the Houthi started targeting vessels in the Red Sea and beyond in mid-November in what it claims is retaliation for the Israeli conflict in Gaza. On 6 March three seafarers onboard the bulker True Confidence were killed in a missile attack.

Attacks on shipping in the region by the Houthi have continued unabated despite the presence of naval operations from US led Prosperity Guardian, as well as the EU.

“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,” the industry organisations stated.

As well as missile and drone attacks the 25 crew of the car carrier Galaxy Leader hijacked by the Houthi November last year remain held hostage. The statement from the industry organisations also said the crew of the MSC Aries seized by Iran earlier this year remain held captivate despite earlier reports from Iran that they had been released.

“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.The 14 signatories to the statement are: Asian Association of ShipownersBimco, CLIA, ECSAIntermanager, Intercargo, IAPHICS, IFMSA, IMEC, International Maritime Pilots Association, IPTA, FONBASA, and World Shipping Council.