Civilian mariner remains missing 2 days after Houthi militants struck cargo ship in Red Sea

In World


A civilian mariner remains missing in the Red Sea, two days after the crew of a cargo carrier struck by Houthi militants abandoned ship, US Central Command said Friday.

The Wednesday surface-sea drone attack on the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned and operated ship, the M/V Tutor, caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room, CENTCOM said. The crew abandoned ship and was rescued by US and partner forces, including the USS Philippine Sea.

The cargo ship is still in the Red Sea and is taking on water, CENTCOM said. The ship is drifting from its last reported position, according to the UK Maritime Trade Operations.

On Thursday, Iran-backed Houthi militants struck another cargo ship, the M/V Verbena, in two separate missile attacks in the Gulf of Aden, severely injuring a civilian mariner and causing fires on board, according to CENTCOM.

The wounded mariner from the M/V Verbena was medically evacuated by aircraft from a nearby US warship.

The crew of the Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated cargo ship put out the fires and have continued on their way, the US said.

“This continued malign and reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza,” CENTCOM said in a statement. “The ongoing threat to international commerce caused by the Houthis in fact makes it harder to deliver badly needed assistance to the people of Yemen as well as Gaza.”

The Houthis have launched dozens of missiles and drones at ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since October, including one attack in March that killed three crew members on the M/V True Confidence, a Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier.

The US and UK have carried out several rounds of strikes against the Houthis in Yemen, including as recently as last week, to try to degrade their weapons supplies. But the Houthis have shown no signs of halting their attacks.

“The United States will continue to act with partners to hold the Houthis accountable and degrade their military capabilities,” CENTCOM said.

Read More: Civilian mariner remains missing 2 days after Houthi militants struck cargo ship in Red Sea

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