By Marita Moaje

MV Tutor (Photo grabbed from VesselFinder.com)

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) announced on Thursday that MV Tutor, the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier attacked by Houthis last week, has sunk, making the search for the missing Filipino more difficult.

Migrant Workers Secretary Hans Leo Cacdac said the carrier was last seen on June 17.

“June 17 was the last time it was sighted and on June 18, when a ship returned on the scene supposedly to commence the search and also the salvaging operation with respect to the ship, she could not be found, the MV Tutor,” Cacdac said during a press conference.

He said upon receiving the news, they immediately informed the family of the missing Filipino crew member, and assured them of continued support.

He said the missing seafarer has three children, and two of them are still studying. Reports said the spouse died three years ago.

The DMW is still coordinating with the shipping principal of MV Tutor and the manning agency for the entitlements due to the affected Filipino crew.

Cacdac said while the ship had already sunk, DMW would not consider the missing Filipino dead.

“We cannot officially confirm his death or his passing. He is missing and we will continue to provide support to the family,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DMW conducted its first round of consultation with stakeholders on the safety of Filipino seafarers, especially those whose vessels pass by the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and other high-risk areas.

As of Thursday, 78 Filipino seafarers have demonstrated their right to refuse sailing since March. Their decision was honored by their respective shipowners, Cacdac said. (PNA)