Sunday, April 16, 2017 -
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UPDATE: According to UKMTO, at 1316 UTC Apr 15 in position 12 43N 048 02E (some 170 nm east of Aden) vessel was under attack by a small boat with 5 POB, reportedly shots were fired towards merchant vessel. UKMTO didn't reveal the name of the vessel, but according to positions of attack and ALHEERA at the time of attack, UKMTO described ALHEERA attack.
Comment: Once again ocean-going merchant vessel was attacked off Yemen coast (bulk carrier OS 35 was also attacked in those waters), by some militants. Were the attackers Somali pirates, or Yemeni militants?
Product tanker ALHEERA at around 2130 Beijing time Apr 15 issued distress signal, reporting being under pirates attack, in Gulf of Aden, off Yemen coast, east of Aden. Chinese Navy frigate Yulin, known for taking part in bulk carrier OS 35 assumed hijack incident several days earlier, happened to be nearest, and steamed to assist. FrigateпїЅs helicopter was deployed, to thwart pirates. Understood it was not so much an attack as suspicious approach. Tanker is safe and continues her voyage.
Product tanker ALHEERA, IMO 9221803, dwt 10018, built 2001, flag Panama, manager EMIRATES SHIPPING CO LTD, UAE.