A salvage tug has been contracted to tow a drifting bulk carrier to safety after it was hit by a Houthi missile in the Gulf of Aden earlier this week.

TradeWinds understands a nearby tug is on its way to secure a line on the 50,448-dwt True Confidence (built 2011) and take it to a nearby port.

According to TradeWinds sources, the tug has been contracted on a daily hire basis rather than a Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF) salvage contract.

Under an LOF, the salvage award would have been settled at a later date based on the value of the cargo and ship.

But, the towage hire options offer underwriters more certainty over costs, which are likely to reach tens of thousands of US dollars daily.

The vessel’s war risk insurance is led by Navium Marine.

The True Confidence was struck 50 nautical miles (93 km) southwest of the port city of Aden on Wednesday morning in a Houthi missile attack, killing three of its crew.

It was mistakenly assumed to have US links.

It has since been drifting south. Most of the damage is in the accommodation area but the ship remains structurally intact below the waterline and is not believed to be in danger of sinking.

It was on a passage from China to Saudi Arabia and Jordan with a cargo of steel products and trucks, according to the owner and manager of the vessel.

On board was a crew of 20 including one Indian, four Vietnamese and 15 Filipinos. A Nepalese and two Sri Lankan armed guards were also on board, the owner said.

In an earlier incident, the Rubymar sank after drifting for 13 days in the Red Sea.