LNG Tanker Becomes Target of Pirate Attack, Shots Fired
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that pirates have fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker off Oman on Wednesday. Three of the shots successfully hit the ship.
The pirate dhow closed to 50 meters from the vessel before shooting. The tanker was not boarded by the assailants, but the IMB could not confirm whether it was hit by the grenades.
According to Reuters, LNG industry sources have suggested that the LNG Aries, managed by Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, was the victim of the attack, but the company was not available for immediate comment on the condition of the ship.
So far, no high-sided LNG tankers are known to have been taken; this is an unusual target of maritime piracy.
Ship tracking data on Reuters show the tanker, which left Spain for the Middle East in early June, was sailing back towards the Suez Canal on Thursday.
IMB Live Piracy & Armed Robbery Report 2012
• Date: Wed Jun 20 2012
• Type of Vessel : LNG Tanker
• Location detail: Around 35nm NE of Masirah Island, Oman
• Type of Attack : Fired Upon
• Narrations: 20.06.2012:0528 UTC: Posn: 20:50N-059:30E, Around 35nm NE of Masirah Island, Oman (Off Somalia)
Pirates in a dhow armed with guns and RPG fired upon a LNG tanker underway. The dhow closed to 50meters from the ship and fire shots of which three hit the vessel. Master enforced anti-piracy measures and managed to evade boarding.