VLCC undamaged after failed drone attack off Yemeni coast

Greek oil tanker Nissos Kea (IMO 9920758) emerged unscathed after being targeted by a Houthi drone attack in the Yemeni port of Ash Shihr (see yesterday’s Round-up).

Greece-based shipping company Okeanis Eco Tankers Corp said that the Marshall Islands-flagged VLCC was loading in Ash Shihr on October 21st when there were two explosions caused by drones. The company said that “neither explosion impacted the vessel. All crew are safe and unharmed. There was no damage to the vessel and no pollution”.

The 300,000 dwt Nissos Kea was reported to have been scheduled to load 2m barrels of crude, but after the two drone attacks it left the port for international waters. Okeanis said that “all necessary precautionary measures were duly taken beforehand and during the incident,” Okeanis said. “The relevant authorities have been kept closely informed, as required.”

“The company is satisfied that its health and safety protocols, which are well-designed to deal with such circumstances, were appropriately applied to ensure the safety of our vessel and our crew in a timely manner.”

Militias from the Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack. It said that they were a “warning strike” against pro-government forces using Yemen’s terminals to “loot” oil exports.

Yemen’s Saudi-backed government said its forces intercepted the drones.

The attack followed the expiry of a truce between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces earlier this month. There were fears that it was a portent of potential danger for commercial shipping in Yemen and nearby waters.

2022-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 154,449 gt Nissos Kea is owned by Sea 289 Leasing Co Ltd care of manager Kyklades Maritime Corp of Piraeus, Greece. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Sea 289 Leasing Co Ltd.