Tankers attacked

Jun 09 2017

EU NAVFOR has confirmed that a tanker, the 2016-built LR1 ‘NAVIG8 Providence’, came under attack by suspected armed pirates on 1st June in the Gulf of Oman- the second such incident in the space of a couple of days.

‘NAVIG8 Providence’ was around 100 nautical miles east of Muscat when she was approached by six armed men in a skiff. It was believed that as the skiff moved towards the tanker, there was an exchange of small arms fire between the suspected pirates and the maritime security team on board the vessel.

In an email to EU NAVFOR, the vessel’s Master said that his ship’s protection team saw a ladder in the skiff.

After carrying out defensive manoeuvres in accordance with Best Management Practices (BMP4), together with the armed response from the tanker’s protection team, the suspected pirates broke off the attack and the vessel and crew were reported safe.

Counter-piracy naval forces started a coordinated search for the skiff.

Earlier, a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, believed to be the 2003-built LR1 ‘Muskie’, was approached and fired upon by three men in a skiff in the southern Bab-el-Mandeb (BAM) Strait, the Red Sea on 31st May, 2017.

An alarm was raised and non-essential crew mustered in the citadel. The on board armed security team fired warning shots resulting in the skiff moving away, UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) centre said.

Two warships proceeded to the area to assist the vessel, which sustained damage due to the firing. However, all crew were reported safe.

“The vessel’s Master reported that his vessel was fired upon by three rocket-propelled grenades, before the assailants broke off the attack. The tanker is now safe and en route to its next port,” EU NAVFOR said in a statement. “EU NAVFOR has not received any information that confirms that piracy-related tripwires/equipment were observed during the attack. This indicates that the incident is more probably related to the continuing instability at sea off the coast of Yemen.”

Frontline's preliminary injunction request denied

On 7th June, 2017, the High Court of the Marshall Islands denied Frontline's requestt for a preliminary injunction relating to transactions contemplated by deal between DHT and BW Group to but the latter’s VLCCs.

The Court rejected Frontline's arguments and issued an order denying its motion for a preliminary injunction, citing Frontline's failure to demonstrate a probability of success on the merits of its claims.

In particular, the Court noted that the acquisition of BW's fleet fell within the sound discretion of the DHT board of directors' business judgement, and that Frontline "has no likelihood of success" on any challenge to the rights plan implemented by the DHT board, as the rights plan was a reasonable response to Frontline's actions.

Both the High Court of the Marshall Islands and the Supreme Court of the State of New York have now rejected Frontline's attempt to interfere with DHT's acquisition of BW's fleet, DHT claimed.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore is serving as DHT’s legal counsel.   

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