In 2019, at least six tankers suffered non-critical damage to their hulls as a result of explosions of unknown origin while sailing through the Gulf of Oman. Although an investigation into one of the incidents by the UAE concluded that it had been carried out by a state actor, it fell short of naming which one.
The Saudi-led coalition waging a military operation in Yemen stated that a commercial vessel had sustained minor damage from “shrapnel” due to a foiled terrorist attack, the Al-Arabiya TV channel reported. According to officials, the attempted attack was carried out by Yemen’s Houthis using an explosive-laden boat.
In a separate statement, the UK Royal Navy’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) has reported that a vessel suffered an explosion at Shuqaiq in Saudi Arabia while it was operating at an oil plant located there. The port is located near the northern border of Yemen, which has been ravaged by an internal conflict for five years, often spilling over into the territory of the kingdom.
The Greece-based firm TMS Tankers later confirmed that its MT Agrari tanker had suffered a blast one metre above the waterline, tearing a hole in its hull. The explosion, however, did not result in injuries among the crew or an oil spill. The company said it is unaware of the origins of the explosion and is conducting an investigation into the incident.
The UK maritime security company Ambrey, in turn, suggested…