Another tanker attacked by pirates in Arabian Sea

Illustration. Photo: EUNAVFOR

In the second attack on commercial vessels in just two days, pirates attempted to hijack oil tanker MT NAVIG8 Providence in the Arabian Sea on June 1.

The incident, confirmed by EU NAVFOR, took place in the Gulf of Oman as the MT NAVIG8 Providence was sailing 100 nautical miles east of Muscat.

According to the European counter-piracy military operation command, six armed men in a skiff approached the tanker and opened fire with the tanker’s ship protection team returning fire.

Defensive manoeuvres carried out by the ship, together with the armed response from MT NAVIG8 Providence’s protection team, forced the pirates to break off their attack and the vessel and crew are now safe.

The tanker’s master confirmed to EU NAVFOR that his ship’s protection team saw a ladder in the skiff.

Naval forces are currently coordinating a search for the skiff, EU NAVFOR said.

This is the second attack on merchant vessels in as many days in the Arabian Sea. The earlier attack took place in the Bab-el-Mandeb strait on March 31 and saw attackers use rocket-propelled grenades.

The incidents are the latest in a series of resurgent pirate attacks on merchant vessels in the region which started in 2017. Over ten attacks took place in the first half of 2017 with at least two resulting in vessels being hijacked by pirates.

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