U.S. Navy Rescues Crew of Greek Ship that Houthis Attacked

Members of the Yemeni Coast Guard affiliated with the Houthi group patrol the sea as demon
AFP via Getty Images

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) on Sunday announced that a team from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group was able to rescue the crew of the MV Tutor, a Greek-owned bulk carrier that a Houthi drone and missile struck on Wednesday.

The Houthi attack, which apparently marked the first successful deployment of an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) by the Iran-backed terrorists, left the Tutor disabled and adrift, with its engine room damaged and water pouring into the lower decks. 

Most of the Tutor’s two dozen crew members are Filipino. The Philippine government said on Friday that one member of the ship’s crew was unaccounted for, but the others had adequate supplies and would be rescued by friendly military forces “within the day.”

NAVCENT said the Eisenhower carrier group conducted the rescue operation on Saturday. A helicopter took the civilian mariners from the stricken Tutor to the USS Philippine Sea, a guided-missile cruiser. The civilians were then taken by helicopter to the Eisenhower itself for medical evaluations and then flown to shore.

“Despite these senseless attacks on innocent mariners just doing their job, the Philippine Sea crew stand ready to help preserve safety of life at sea, always,” said Capt. Steven Liberty of the USS Philippine Sea. (Yes, the commanding officer of the Philippine Sea is named “Captain Liberty.”)

One member of the Tutor’s crew is reportedly missing. Some reports say the total crew complement of the Tutor was 22, but NAVCENT said 24 civilians were rescued, and one is still unaccounted for, which could be a typographical error. Philippine officials said the missing man was stationed in the engine room at the time of the Houthi attack.

The Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said Philippine Embassy officials met the rescued crew members in the Bahrain port city of Manama. The DMW said the repatriated crew members are traveling in the company of Labor Attache Hector Cruz and are expected home in the Philippines by Monday afternoon. 

The DMW urged shipping companies to allow their Filipino employees to refuse deployments that would take them within range of Houthi weapons in the Red Sea — another embarrassment for President Joe Biden’s “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” which was launched in February and is supposed to guarantee the safety of commercial vessels in the Red Sea. 


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