Middle EastOperations

Potential hijack of asphalt tanker off UAE

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) has advised of a potential hijack incident underway off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

The warning notice, based on a third-party source, advised vessels in the area to exercise extreme caution in the area, around 61 nautical miles east of Fujairah.

Maritime security consultancy Dryad Global reported the incident involved the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker, Asphalt Princess.

According to reports, a group of eight or nine armed individuals are believed to have boarded the vessel.

At least four other ships broadcast warnings that they had lost control of their steering under unclear circumstances.

The Singapore-flagged product tanker Golden Brilliant, the Cook Islands-flagged asphalt tanker Kamdhenu, the Guyana-flagged product tanker Queen Ematha and the Indai-flagged Jag Pooja all reported that they were not under command, according to MarineTraffic.

Unconfirmed reports also stated that the ships hit mines and that Golden Brilliant was one of the ships reported to be attacked after it started moving.

The event comes just days after a drone struck the Zodiac Maritime-operated product tanker Mercer Street off the coast of Oman, killing two crew members. Iran was blamed by the US, UK and Israel, but it denied involvement and said on Monday it would respond promptly to any threat to its security.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a backgroud 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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