‘Small Boats’ Seen in Vicinity of Tanker Rocked by Explosion Off Saudi Coast, Report Says

Middle East

Earlier, media reported that an explosion had taken place aboard the BW Rhine, a Singapore-flagged oil tanker, off the Saudi port of Jeddah in the Red Sea. Saudi ships have previously faced similar attacks in the body of water by Yemen’s Houthi militia. Riyadh launched a military operation in Yemen to try to oust the Houthis in 2015.

The captain of the BW Rhine has told Al Arabiya TV that “small boats” were seen nearby before the tanker was rocked by an explosion in Jeddah after midnight early Monday.

The attack was said to have resulted in a small fire extinguished by the emergency services, with no casualties or damage to port facilities or supplies caused.

Earlier, Hafnia, the shipping company which operates the BW Rhine, confirmed that the ship’s 22 member crew escaped unharmed, but also indicated that the water ballast and cargo tanks on the ship’s port side had sustained damage.

The Singapore-flagged oil tanker was said to have been chartered by Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco, and to have been discharging fuel brought from the Saudi port of Yanbu further to the north at the moment the attack took place at about 12:40 am local time.

The ministry spokesman added that the attack followed similar strikes on a petroleum products distribution in north Jeddah, as well as a floating unloading platform in Jizan.

String of Attacks

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the BW Rhine, but Saudi…

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