Middle EastOperationsTankers

Libyan authorities fire and sink tanker taking contraband diesel

The Libyan Coast Guard fired on a product tanker, Goeast, on Friday after the ship was caught taking oil out of the country without official permission and then disobeyed orders to stop.

The ship, flying the Comoros flag and owned by Ukrainian interests, was strafed with 30 mm ammunition west of Zuwarah.

A video posted on Saturday on the coastguard’s Facebook page shows shots being firing at the tanker, which starts to list heavily and capsize. The ship spilled very significant volumes of diesel in the process.

“The coastguard wanted to send a clear message to traffickers … to smuggling vessels … to all those who dare to touch (the resources of) the Libyan people in the future,” the navy said.

Many ships and seafarers have been targeted around Libya’s coastline since the country entered a bitter civil war six years ago.

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. Mr. Chambers, you’re wrong. There are no “Ukrainian interests” in this ship, owned by Crimean company, if we’re to believe AIS and EQUASIS. Crimea is occupied by Russia, and therefore, tanker must be defined as owned by “Russian interests”. For you it may be of no importance, but it’s important, nevertheless. Advise you to find out what it’s all about – Russia, Crimea, Ukraine – and why all matters related to Russian aggression are so sensitive.

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