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Okeanis tanker narrowly escapes drone attack in Yemen

Armed drones targeted an Okeanis Eco Tankers’ very large crude carrier on Friday as the vessel had called for loading at the Al-Dabba oil terminal in Ash Shihr, Yemen.

In a filing to the Oslo Stock Exchange, the company confirmed two “drone-driven explosions” in close proximity to its 2022-built Nissos Kea.

The Greek owner of the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker said it sustained no damage in the attack and no injuries to the crew.

The 300,000 dwt Nissos Kea was scheduled to load 2m barrels of crude, but the vessel sailed from the loading port in international waters following the incident. “All necessary precautionary measures were duly taken beforehand and during the incident,” Okeanis Eco Tankers said.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militias said they were behind the attack, calling it a “warning strike.” to prevent pro-government forces from using terminals for oil exports. Meanwhile, the country’s Saudi-backed government said its forces had intercepted the drones.

The incident marks the first announced military action since a truce between Yemen’s warring sides expired earlier this month signaling a potential danger for commercial ships that pass by or stop in the country.

The attack has been widely condemned. The EU said the flagrant menacing of international maritime commerce was unacceptable. “Houthi attacks on international shipping are an affront to core principles of the Law of the Sea, jeopardising freedom of navigation through the region’s waterways and blocking access to Yemeni ports,” it added.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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