Middle EastTankers

Blaze breaks out on disused VLCC off Dubai

An out-of-use VLCC caught fire yesterday 21 nautical miles northwest of Dubai.

Splash understands the Zoya 1, which has not traded for the last three years and has seen its crew face appalling conditions onboard, was having its tanks cleaned in preparation for scrapping when the blaze broke out yesterday.

The ship has been at the centre of a three-year legal dispute with local Dubai newspapers describing the plight of the abandoned crew onboard. The crew were evacuated yesterday as the fire grew in intensity. The 1996-built ship had no cargo onboard when the fire started.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. So the crew, who hadn’t been paid in months, were carrying out tank-cleaning?
    Makes you wonder if they were physically forced into doing that.

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