A BULKER struck by Ansar Allah in the Red Sea last week is reported to have sunk.

Liberian-flagged coal carrier Tutor was hit by an uncrewed surface vessel on 12 June. A statement from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations on Tuesday indicates the ship has since sunk.

Tutor would be the second ship to have gone down since Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, began attacking commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in November last year. The first to sink was the Belize-flagged bulk carrier Rubymar.

Tutor is potentially also the second fatal attack in the same period. The ship was evacuated, but one crewmember believed to be in the engine room at the time of the attack is still unaccounted for. In March this year, three seafarers died when the militia struck True Confidence in the Gulf of Aden.

The leaders of 15 shipping industry organisations, including the ICS, Intercargo, IMPA, World Shipping council, IAPH and Intertanko, issued a joint statement on Wednesday “calling for action” following the attacks on Tutor and Verbena (another bulker attacked last week, leaving one seafarer severely injudred).

“The shipping community is appalled and deeply saddened with the tragic news that, yet another seafarer seems certain to have been killed in a drone boat strike on Wednesday 12 June while on board the MV Tutor in the Red Sea,” the signatories said.

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

“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 signatories noted that the crew of Galaxy Leader, a ro-ro carrier hijacked in November, is still being held captive.

Galaxy Leader manager STAMCO Ship Management Co, in a statement cited by Reuters, renewed its call for Ansar Allah to release the crew. The 25 seafarers have been held for even months.

“There is nothing to be gained by the Houthis in keeping the 25 crew members,” STAMCO said, requesting that they be released to their families without further delay.