An operation to salvage a Greek bulker badly damaged in a Houthi attack in the Red Sea is still on, despite its crew abandoning the vessel on Friday.

Market sources are telling TradeWinds that the two tug boats hired for the purpose are on course to arrive on Monday and Tuesday at the 82,000-dwt Tutor (built 2022), which is drifting.

The plan is to tow the ship and bring it to safety somewhere off Djibouti. Then a diving survey will establish the extent of the damage to its bottom.

The Tutor, which is owned by Greece’s Evalend Shipping, is still afloat as a whole, despite suffering severe damage from a Houthi sea drone and a missile on Wednesday.

Its condition is nevertheless critical, with its engine room said to be fully submerged. This is also where the body of a Filipino seafarer, the ship’s second engineer who lost his life in the attack, is believed to have been trapped.

The remaining crew members were evacuated by warships patrolling the area, as TradeWinds already reported on Friday.

The crew, however, left in an orderly manner, following instructions given to make sure that salvors can get easy access to the vessel once they reach it.

TradeWinds has already reported that the Tsavliris Salvage Group has engaged two oceangoing tug boats to rush to the Tutor’s rescue — the 15,000-bhp Gladiator (built 1977) and 5,150-bhp Hercules (built 2009).

The Tutor is one of more than 100 vessels that the Houthis have targeted or hit directly since mid-November, in a campaign to put pressure on Israel and its Western allies to cease the war on the Hamas group in Gaza, which has led to thousands of civilian deaths in the Palestinian territory.

The Tutor incident stands out, however, because it is the first time the Yemeni rebels attacked a ship with a sea drone, or what maritime security firm Ambrey Analytics described as a remote-controlled waterborne improvised explosive device.

The Tutor is the second vessel to mourn a seafarer victim. Three crew members on the 50,400-dwt bulker True Confidence (built 2011) lost their lives in March.

The Tutor is also only the second vessel to be abandoned by its crew, after the 32,200-dwt bulker Rubymar (built 1997), which was attacked in February and ultimately sank.