Four commercial ships were targets of a “sabotage attack” near the port of Fujairah, off the UAE on Sunday May 12th, the country’s foreign affairs ministry said on Monday. Previously, Saudi Arabia had said that two of its oil tankers had sustained significant damage, claiming that this was an attempt to undermine security of global crude supplies. “One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the US,” according to the official Saudi Press agency.
Another vessel was Norwegian-registered, whilst the fourth was UAE-flagged, according to reports.
The UAE gave no details on the nature of the sabotage and did not assign responsibility. It said that there were no casualties and operations at Fujairah port were normal.
Last month, Iran threatened to “close” the Strait of Hormuz if it was prevented from using the waterway.
This followed a US decision to end exemptions from sanctions for major importers of Iranian oil.
The reports from various news sources were confused, On May 12th Iranian news said that there were several explosions in Fujairah port area, and that as a result, at least seven tankers were set on fire.
The UAE said that this was not the case and that nothing had happened, that the port was working without any accidents of any kind. However, not long after this the UAE admitted there had been some acts of sabotage.
A picture released by the UAE shows a Norwegian-flagged vessel, chemical/oil carrier Andrea Victory (IMO 9288849), with damage to its hull. Norway-based Thome Ship Management said that the vessel had been “struck by an unknown object on the waterline” while anchored off Fujairah. No crew members were harmed.
A VLCC, an Aframax and three small tankers were said to have been hit.
Iranian PRESS TV claimed that at least five tankers hit by explosions:
Crude oil tanker Amjad, IMO 9779800, dwt 300000, built 2017, flag Saudi Arabia.
Crude oil tanker Al Marzoqah (IMO 9165762), dwt 105084, built 1999, flag Saudi Arabia.
Product tanker Miraj (IMO 9394741), dwt 7414, built 2007, flag Dominica.
Product tanker A Michel (IMO 9177674), dwt 6711, built 2007, flag UAE..
Product tanker FNSA 10 (IMO 9432074), dwt 6453, built 2007, flag UAE.
Three of these including the Amjad and Al Marzoqah, were live on AIS, apparently having suffered no interruptions and without auxiliary, or rescue, or fire, boats anywhere near them.
Any acts of sabotage that did take place would have been in anchorage rather than within the port.
North of England Club said that The reason for the explosions has not been confirmed by the authorities who described the acts as sabotage. No lives were lost or pollution occurred as a result of the explosions.
“Our correspondents report that the situation in the area is stable and the port of Fujairah is open and operating as normal”, said North, adding that “local authorities are conducting an investigation on the incident”.
2017-built, Saudi Arabia-flagged, 154,252 gt Amjad is owned and managed by Bahri of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ISM manager is Mideast Ship Management of Dubai, UAE. It is entered with Assuranceforeningen Gard – gjensidig – on behalf of the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia. It is entered for H&M with XL Syndicate 1209, with Gard having a subscription position.
2005-built, Norway-flagged, 29,214 gt Andrea Victory is owned by MAP MR3 Llc care of manager Champion Tankers AS of Paradis, Norway. ISM manager is Thome Ship Management Pte Ltd of Singapore. It is entered with UK Club (Area Group London L3) on behalf of WA Tankers AS. It is entered for H&M with Gard AS on behalf of Champion Tankers AS. Gard indicates the vessel as being Isle of Man-flagged. UK Club indicates the vessel as Norwegian International-flagged.
1999-built, Saudi Arabia-flagged, 58,141 gt Al Marzoqah is owned by Al Mubarakah International NAV care of manager Red Sea Marine Services LLC of Dubai, UAE. It is entered with West of England (Claims Team 1) on behalf of Al Mubarakah International Navigation Co Ltd.
1998-built, UAE-flagged, 4,346 gt A Michel is owned and managed by Al Arabia Bunkering Co LLC of Sharjah, UAE. ISM manager is Poseidon SA of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Shipowners’ Club on behalf of Poseidon SA.
2007-built, UAE-flagged, 4,063 gt FNSA 10 is owned and managed by Fujairah National Shipping LLC of Fujairah, UAE. ISM manager is Amwaj Ship Management LLC of Fujairah, UAE. It is entered with American Club on behalf of Fujairah National Shipping LLC.
2007-built, Dominica-flagged, 5,581 gt Miraj is owned by River Queen Maritime Inc care of manager Red Sea Marine Services LLC (DMCC) of Dubai, UAE. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of River Queen Maritime Inc.