Pirates Seize Million-Barrel Oil Tanker

By MarEx 2012-12-18 13:41:00

Recent reports state that pirates have boarded a Suezmax oil tanker that has the ability to carry 1 million barrels of crude, making it the largest vessel seized in more than a year.

A representative the ship’s owners, Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. in Athens, informed sources that men are on board the Smyrni with guns. The vessel was 52 feet deep in the water after calling at a loading terminal in Turkey. A tanker of the same size was hijacked at 12:30 p.m. local time 430 miles northeast of Yemen’s Socotra Island, according to the European Union Naval Force.

This seized tanker is the largest vessel to be hijacked since February 2011. The International Maritime Bureau says that a smaller Aframax tanker escaped yesterday from pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 assault rifles off the Somali coast; they fired 7 of the grenades and shot about 300 bullets during the attack.

Pirates mounted 102 attacks worldwide last quarter and there are close to 3,500 Somali pirates attacking vessels off Africa’s eastern coast.

Statement from Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd.

Tanker Reported Hijacked In Arabian Sea
At approximately 1115 UTC on 10 May, 2012, an oil tanker managed by Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd. was reported hijacked while it was transiting the Arabian Sea.

The Liberian-flagged Tanker, the M/T SMYRNI, is carrying a cargo of 135000 MT of crude oil.

No communications have been received from the ship since the ship was boarded.

Dynacom Tanker Management's top priorities are the safe return of the ship and crew and the integrity of the cargo.

All relevant authorities have been notified.

UPDATE (5/12/12): The ship is in Smyrni and armed pirates are onboard.