Armed pirates attacked a British-flagged chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but were repulsed, the ship’s manager Stolt Tankers has said.
The pirates approached the Stolt Apal in two speedboats some 75 nautical miles (139km) off Yemen, it said, in one of the most important trade routes for oil heading from the Middle East to Europe.
“After multiple warning shots were fired by the armed guard team on board Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship. The armed guard team returned fire, disabling one skiff and ending the pursuit,” a company spokesman told Reuters in emailed comments.
“A coalition warship [also] responded and Stolt Apal has resumed her voyage,” the spokesman said.
He did not specify which coalition was meant, but maritime security sources said the vessel had been sailing through a transit corridor patrolled by international naval forces due to the high risk of attack.
The spokesman said the ship’s bridge had sustained minor damage from bullets, but that there were no injuries. None of the ship’s cargo was damaged.
Stolt Tankers is a subsidiary of Norwegian listed Stolt-Nielsen.