Explosion and oil leak from the tanker “Agrari” at the Al Shuqaiq anchorage. The vessel is capable of transporting about 700 thousand barrels of oil. The operator said there was a hole in the tanker about 1 meter above the waterline. All of the crew members are thankfully safe. An investigation is underway. The incident occurred at some point on November, 23d.
There is no exact data on who could have attacked the ship. According to the British company “Ambrey”, a mine could have caused the fire.
The tanker “Agrari” arrived at the port of Saudi Arabia from port of Rotterdam (NL). The explosion occurred during the unloading of the tanker. All of the sailors are safe. There is no evidence that oil products got into the water.
A similar incident took place on October 3, 2020, when in the same area the 10-year-old Greek tanker Syra sailing under the Maltese flag reported that it was blown up by a sea mine at the Rudum Terminal off the south coast of Yemen. When the explosion occurred, the vessel was receiving crude oil from the Bir Ali single-barrel crude oil mooring system. There was a significant contamination from the explosion on satellite imagery. The shipping industry is on alert and is showing increased vigilance across the Gulf of Aden.
Unconfirmed sources reported that while the tanker was loading oil, several suspicious floating objects approached it. One or two of these objects – presumably water-based floating IEDs (WBIEDs) – later exploded in the immediate vicinity of the tanker.
Attempts to attack ships and ports using such methods were reported relatively frequently. Moreover, on November 13, Saudi forces intercepted and destroyed a WBIED attempt aimed at the Saudi port of Jizan.
Previous incidents in the Red Sea also include the shelling of an Iranian-flagged vessel MT Sabiti in 2019, allegedly off the Saudi coast of Jeddah. In addition, the Saudi Arabian Navy has reported the recent dismantling of Iranian mines by the Houthis. Latest publications November 14th and 24th.
The incident on November 23 is commensurate with the destruction of an explosive ship. The shipping industry is on alert and is showing increased vigilance across the Gulf of Aden.
All Image Credits – The EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia