Middle EastOperationsTankers

Explosive-laden boat cited in Jeddah tanker attack

Saudi Arabia has said an explosive-laden boat was used in yesterday’s attack on Hafnia’s LR tanker BW Rhine at a Saudi Aramco facility in Jeddah.

BW subsidiary Hafnia had merely described yesterday’s attack as coming from an “external source” whilst discharging at Jeddah. All 22 seafarers have been accounted for with no injuries.

Hull damage has occurred at water ballast tank five on the port side and cargo tank four on the port side of the 12-year-old ship.

An boat carrying explosives is a tactic commonly used by Houthi rebels based in Yemen.

The statement from Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry, via the country’s state-run Saudi Press Agency, yesterday also described the incident as a “terrorist attack,” but did not directly accuse any specific group of carrying it out. No terrorist or militant organisation has claimed responsibility so far.

“These acts of terrorism and vandalism, directed against vital installations, go beyond the kingdom and its vital facilities, to the security and stability of energy supplies to the world and the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said.

Splash has reported on a number of similar tanker attacks in the same area over the last two months.

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.
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