The international shipping industry has voiced its outrage and concern following the attack on the bulk carrier Tutor and on the cargo ship Verbena.

To remind, the Liberian flagged, Greek owned and operated bulk cargo carrier Tutor was attacked by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis on June 12 in the Red Sea with an uncrewed surface vessel (USV) resulting in severe flooding and damage to the engine room.

The Philippine Embassy in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, facilitated the repatriation of 21 Filipino crew members of bulk carrier Tutor on June 16 via a flight from Manama, Bahrain. The 21 crew members were transported to Bahrain through the assistance of the US Navy.

A day after the Tutor incident, the Houthis also attacked the vessel Verbena, a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier in two separate missile attacks.

The crew of the ship issued a distress call indicating they were abandoning the ship. M/V Anna Meta responded to render assistance. As the US Central Command (Centcom) reported on June 15, the crew abandoned the ship due to continued fires and an inability to control them.

One civilian mariner was reportedly medically evacuated due to severe injuries.

Fourteen organisations condemned on Wednesday the latest wave of attacks and the continuing detention of crew held by the Yemen rebel group and its Iranian ally.

The full joint statement can be seen below:

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

“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.

“This is the second fatal attack in which our seafarers have been caught in the crosshairs of geopolitical conflicts. Three seafarers tragically lost their lives when the True Confidence was attacked earlier this year. And we must not forget the crew members from the Galaxy Leader and MSC Aries who are still being held captive.

“Furthermore, we strongly condemn the attack on the cargo ship Verbena on Thursday 13 June which left a seafarer severely injured by anti-ship cruise missiles.

“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.

“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 signatories to the joint statement include Asian Shipowners’ Associations (ASA), BIMCO, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA), INTERMANAGER, International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA), International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA), The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA), and the World Shipping Council (WSC).