x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Armed guards thwart pirate attack in Gulf of Oman

Armed guards helped a ship evade an attempted hijacking off the coast of Muscat last night.

DUBAI // Pirates fired at a tanker in the Gulf of Oman last night but action by armed guards forced the raiders to withdraw.

The attack occurred 40 nautical miles north east of Muscat and the crew are safe, maritime authorities said.

"There were no injuries or casualties. The pirate skiff was launched from a dhow believed to be under control of pirates," said P Mukundan, the director of the International Maritime Bureau.

"The pirate vessel is still believed to be in the area and poses a threat to shipping. The crew needs to remain vigilant."

The loaded tanker was owned by a Danish company and its last port of call was Al Jubail port in Saudi Arabia.

The Nato and IMB monitoring centres reported that weapons and ladders were spotted on the skiff that retreated after warning shots were fired by the team on board the tanker.

rtalwar@thenational.ae