A video distributed on multiple media channels and social media purports to show a Houthi sea drone approaching a Greek bulker as armed guards watch on before the weapon hits the ship.

Maritime security experts said the video, which could not be immediately authenticated, appears to show the attack on Evalend Shipping’s 82,000-dwt Tutor (built 2022). The ship is believed to have gone down in the Red Sea after suffering the first direct hit from an unmanned bomb boat.

The video shows three armed guards looking on as a small skiff comes into view.

As it approaches, a man is heard saying, “Inside, inside!” then the crew member recording the video runs inside the ship’s bridge.

After the sinking of the Tutor, some maritime security experts said ships transiting the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, where the Houthis have been attacking shipping since the war in Gaza began last year, should be equipped to fire on unmanned vessels of this type.

But IR Consilium chief executive Ian Ralby said the footage of the Tutor attack demonstrates it is “laughable” that armed guards could be a panacea in such attacks.

“They had armed guards, and it didn’t make a damn bit of difference,” he said.

“The problem with unmanned systems at this point is that if it is confusing for governments to figure out use-of-force protocols, it is equally confusing for probably lesser trained armed guards in a private capacity to figure out what to do.”

Warning shots will make no difference, and a disabling shot could have additional risks, the expert in maritime law and maritime security told TradeWinds.

“The confusion, and thus the hesitation … epitomises the concern around how to handle multi-tiered threat vectors from the Houthis and other actors as well, where we’ve seen threats present in a way that we’ve never seen before,” Ralby said.

He said that if armed guards are used to attempt to thwart an unmanned exploding boat, they need training on how to disable such vessels.

Another video shows crew members reacting after the explosion caused damage to the bridge.

Maritime security firms have said that the unmanned vessel that attacked the Tutor had two dummies on board and may have been operated from land using GPS and a video feed.

The ship was abandoned on Friday after the initial attack killed one Filipino seafarer and flooded the engine room two days earlier. The remaining 21 crew members on the vessel were to be taken home to the Philippines, Gulf News reported.

But the nationality of the armed guards has not been disclosed and it is not clear what their status is.

Athens-based Evalend Shipping could not be immediately reached for comment.

Video distributed on the Houthi armed forces media website shows two attacks on a ship that the militant group claims to be the Tutor.

In the first, an explosion is seen in the aft section of the ship, engulfing the accommodation block in smoke.

The second takes place amidships, and at the time of the clip, the ship’s stern is lower in the water, suggesting a second attack that may have taken place after the Tutor had taken on water and its crew was evacuated.

TradeWinds reported on Tuesday that the ship is believed to have sunk, but it was not known whether it was a result of the damage from the initial attack or a subsequent strike.