Hopes for recovery of missing seaman dim as MV Tutor sinks


THE Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on Thursday confirmed MV Tutor has sunk close to the coast of Eritrea, “complicating” the search operation for the missing Filipino crew member of the ill-fated ship.

“The MV Tutor, based on reports, was lost at sea. The last time it was seen was June 17,” Migrant Workers Secretary Hans J. Cacdac said in an online press briefing on Thursday.

Cacdac noted this will make the search for the missing Filipino sailor, who was working in the engine room of MV Tutor when it was attacked by Houthi rebels, more difficult.

The Greek-owned and Liberian registered coal carrier suffered serious damage when it was hit by an unmanned surface vehicle laden with explosives and missiles launched by Houthi forces while it was passing near Yemen last week.

Twenty-one of the 22 Filipino crew members were rescued and already repatriated.

The ship continued to drift until it sank near the coast of Eritrea.

Cacdac said they already informed the family of the missing seama about said development and assured they will be provided the necessary aid by the government.

DMW is currently investigating if MV Tutor and other ships with Filipino sailors, which passed through the Red Sea have violated its policies.

Cacdac said their probe on MV Tutor is expected to be concluded in the coming days.

“We are looking closely whether they [ships which passed through the Red Sea] have faithfully complied with the regulations and under our regulations. There are corresponding penalties with respect to the violation of our regulations as applicable in accordance with the rules,” the DMW head said.

Citing previous DMW directives, he said ships with Filipino seamen are directed to divert their routes from the Red Sea and have maritime security escorts and have armed guards onboard, when passing through the dangerous waterway.