Swift Maritime Recovery: Zografia Bulker, Struck by Houthi Missile, Successfully Repaired in Record Time

Egyptian Authorities and Suez Shipyard Company Showcase Unprecedented Efficiency in Restoration Efforts, Facilitating Zografia’s Prompt Return to Greek Ownership.


In a remarkable display of efficiency and maritime expertise, Egyptian authorities have successfully concluded repairs on the Malta-registered bulker Zografia after sustaining damage from a Houthi missile strike on January 16. The vessel, having undergone swift and meticulous repairs at the Suez Shipyard Company, departed Egypt over the weekend, signifying a noteworthy achievement in maritime restoration endeavors.

The impact of the single anti-ship missile strike was evident as it struck the Zografia from above, targeting the No. 2 cargo hold and causing an exit wound below the waterline in the vessel’s boot topping. Fortunately, the bulker was unladen at the time of the assault, sparing it from potential water ingress. The Suez Shipyard Company, having replaced hull plating and internal steel structures within the cargo hold, executed repairs on various piping systems, including hydraulic control pipes, accomplishing the task in record time. The vessel, arriving at the shipyard on January 22 with a conspicuous hole in the hull, departed on January 27, with the shipyard proudly asserting that the extensive repairs were completed within four days. ClassNK, in its inspection, approved all maintenance work conducted by the shipyard, validating the quality and precision of the restoration.

Captain Borys Basenko, the master of the Zografia, expressed gratitude in a statement issued by the Suez Canal Authority, commending the shipyard for its prompt response and adept handling of the emergency situation. Lieutenant General Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, reiterated the authority’s unwavering commitment to collaborating with customers, including shipping lines and agencies. He emphasized their readiness to mitigate the impact of prevailing conditions in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab by offering comprehensive navigational and repair services to transiting vessels facing breakdowns or emergencies.

As reports indicate a nearly 50 percent decline in transits through the Suez Canal since the initiation of Houthi attacks, the Zografia, owned and managed from Greece, is poised to return through the canal after arriving in Piraeus on January 31. While databases suggest a course towards Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with an anticipated arrival in March, the uncertainty surrounding another Southern Red Sea passage remains in the aftermath of last week’s close call. The vessel, boasting a deadweight tonnage of 58,894 and a length of 623 feet (190 meters), was constructed in China in 2010 and has consistently been under Greek ownership since its inception.

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