Tanker damaged in failed pirate attack off Yemen

Stolt Apal (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Philippe Guichot)

Crewmembers and security personnel embarked on a commercial tanker were able to successfully prevent pirates from boarding their vessel off the coast of Yemen on Sunday, May 17.

The UK-flagged Stolt Apal was sailing through the Gulf of Aden en route to the Suez Canal when it was approached by six armed men on two speedboats some 75 nautical miles off the Yemeni coast at approximately 12:30 UTC on Sunday.

The security team on the tanker fired warning shots to discourage the speedboats from coming any closer. However, the pirates responded by firing their weapons directly at the larger vessel.

The security personnel then aimed their own weapons at the speedboats and returned fire, forcing the pirates to abandon their boarding attempt and flee the area.

Stolt Tankers said that Stolt Apal sustained minor damage to the bridge area and that no injuries were reported among the crew and the security team.

The company added that the security personnel had also ended up disabling one of the attacking speedboats in the ensuing firefight though no further details have been provided.

The tanker has since resumed its voyage to the Suez Canal.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!