UK Reports Suspicious Approach in Arabian Sea

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday March 20, 2024

A suspicious approach to a commercial ship that may have been an attempted boarding has been reported in the Arabian Sea, according to a British government agency monitoring maritime security in the region.

The incident happened 160 nautical miles south-east of Salalah in Oman at about 2 AM UTC on Wednesday, the UK Maritime Trade Operations agency said in a social media post.

"The master has reported a suspicious approach by a small craft astern, approximately 0.3 nm from the vessel," the agency said.

"The small craft had a visible ladder and carried seven crew members.

"It followed the vessel for approximately 20 minutes.

"In response, the armed security team on the reporting vessel fired a warning shot, and the small craft subsequently left the area."

Commercial ships operating near Yemen have been coming under attack from the country's Houthi movement over the past four months in a response to the conflict in Gaza.

Several leading shipping companies are now avoiding the region altogether, taking longer routes around Africa rather than using the Suez Canal. This is likely to deliver a significant boost to bunker demand and freight markets while the current situation continues.