Ambrey: Latest Houthi attacks show a “significant increase in effectiveness”

Written by Nick Blenkey
Ambrey says Houthi attacks are becoming more effective

Image: UKMTO

This week has seen a spate of new Houthi attacks — and, in a just released threat circular, maritime risk consultancy Ambrey says that they are showing a significant increase In effective. In the week prior to the release of the Ambrey circular, the Houthi claimed six operations against merchant shipping. Four of those targeting attempts resulted in physical damage.

Today brought news that one merchant vessel struck by the Houthis is adrift after the crew was evacuated by naval vessels. That ship, the Greek owned Liberian flagged bulker Tutor, was first struck in the stern by a sea drone on June 12 and started taking on water, then later that same day, was struck by what UKMTO described as an “unknown aerial vehicle.”

Ambrey terms the unmanned vessel that struck the Tutor as a Remote Controlled-Water Borne Improvised Explosive Device (RC-WBIED) and says it was described as a 5-7 meter long white-hulled boat “manned” with two dummies. This description aligns with Yemeni fishing boats.

The vessel had 22, predominantly Filipino crew, on board on of whom is missing.,

The Secretary of the Philippines Department of Migrant Workers, Hans Cacdac, is reported as saying today that “given this incident, we will review the current policies, the current processes, on whether we could still further strengthen to seek more adequate protection for our seafarers.”

In April, the DMW barred Filipino seafarers from working on cruise and passenger ships set to pass through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, but commercial ships were not included in the order.

Cacdac added that the Filipinos aboard MV Tutor would be rescued “within the day,” without disclosing further details for security reasons, reports Rappler.

Confirming Ambrey’s warning on the increasing effectiveness of Houthi attacks, CENTCOM reports that yesterday the Iranian-backed terrorist group launched two anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) into the Gulf of Aden. Both missiles struck M/V Verbena, a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier. M/V Verbena most recently docked in Malaysia and was enroute to Italy carrying wood construction material.

M/V Verbena reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The crew was continuing to fight the fire yesterday. One civilian mariner was severely injured during the attack and was medically by an aircraft from USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) medically evacuated the injured mariner to a partner force ship nearby for medical attention.

The Verbena was one of three ships that the Houthis claimed to have attacked on the same day.

  • Download the new Ambrey threat circular HERE
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