Extreme caution urged in Gulf of Oman after ‘non-piracy incident’

Extreme caution urged in Gulf of Oman after ‘non-piracy incident’

Activity reported off coast of United Arab Emirates follows suspected drone strike on tanker

The incident follows an attack on the Mercer Street tanker, pictured, off the coast of Oman last week.

Tue 3 Aug 2021 10.58 EDT

A “non-piracy incident” is under way off the coast of Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported on Tuesday.

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

UKTMO provided no details regarding the vessel or vessels involved.

However, on Tuesday afternoon a Singapore-flagged chemical tanker in roughly the same position off Fujairah named Golden Brilliant updated its AIS tracking status to “Not Under Command”, according to Refinitiv ship-tracking data.

This status indicates a ship is unable to manoeuvre due to exceptional circumstances.

Last week, an attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off the coast of Oman killed two crew members and was blamed on Iran by the United States, Israel and Britain.

Iran denied involvement in the suspected drone attack and said on Monday it would respond promptly to any threat to its security.

The US and Britain said on Sunday they would work with their allies to respond to last week’s attack on the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by the Israeli-owned company Zodiac Maritime.

Iran and Israel have exchanged accusations of carrying out attacks on each other’s vessels in recent months.

Tensions have increased in Gulf waters and between Iran and Israel since 2018, when Donald Trump, the then US president, ditched Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed sanctions that crippled Iran’s economy.

Source Link: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/aug/03/extreme-caution-urged-in-gulf-of-oman-after-non-piracy-incident

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