Crew Abandons Sinking Bulk Carrier In Red Sea After Kamikaze Drone Boat Attack 

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024 - 07:45 PM

Turmoil in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden intensified this week as Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched a series of attacks on commercial vessels traversing the critical maritime chokepoint. In a bold new move, the rebels deployed a suicide drone boat that slammed into the stern of a bulk carrier, paralyzing the vessel and forcing the crew to abandon the ship. 

The drone boat attack on commodity-hauling bulk carrier "Tutor" was first reported on Wednesday. By Friday, the crew of the vessel was "evacuated by military authorities," according to the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations. 

UKMTO said, "The vessel has been abandoned and is drifting in the vicinity of the last reported position 14°20'00" N 041°56'00" E." 

Filipino-based media outlet ABS-CBN News spoke with Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Cacdac, who said 21 of the 22 Filipino seafarers aboard the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned, and operated bulk carrier were rescued. He did not specify which military rescued the crew. However, Bloomberg reports that a US Navy ship conducted an extraction operation at the end of the week.

"The ship was adrift in the southern Red Sea," Cacdac told reporters, adding one missing crew member is likely dead in the engine room. This is the area where the drone boat struck the bulk carrier. 

Bloomberg said the ship is taking on water, and a salvage company has dispatched two tugboats to rescue it. 

ABS-CBN News posted a video onboard the vessel before the extraction. 

Like security firm Ambrey, we have told readers this was the first time Houthis used remote-controlled, water-borne explosives.

One commodity research firm with a high focus on oil/gas flows in the Middle East told us this won't be the last time the Houthis use kamikaze drone boats against commercial vessels.

In a separate report, Bloomberg cites US officials who believe Houthis are expanding "international partnerships with other militant groups as part of their campaign to disrupt global shipping and protest the Israel-Hamas war." 

Houthi's aim in disrupting maritime chokepoints is to create a supply shock for the global economy.

Containerized freight shipping rates are already soaring, and logjams are being reported at some of the world's top ports. 

The Houthis have only been emboldened by a weak Biden administration whose disastrous foreign policy decisions have unleashed fires across the world.