INTERNATIONAL. An oil tanker carrying 1 million barrels of fuel oil was on fire off the Yemeni coast after being attacked by pirates.
The 274-meter (900-foot) Brillante Virtuoso was carrying the oil to China from Ukraine, said Andreas Louka, legal adviser to Suez Fortune Investment Ltd., the owner.
The crew of 26 are uninjured and the ship is being towed by two tugs, he said by phone from Athens today.
The vessel was attacked by pirates about 20 miles from Aden in southern Yemen while approaching the port to take onboard unarmed guards, Louka said. It was then scheduled to continue its journey to China, he said. The fire is in the accommodation block of the ship, which has a carrying capacity of 149,601 deadweight tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Pirates attacked a record number of ships worldwide in the first quarter, taking 344 sailors hostage and killing seven, according to the International Maritime Bureau. A total of 142 attacks were reported, the most for the period since monitoring began in 1991, the London-based IMB said in April.
Crude oil traded in New York, a global benchmark, rose 35% in the past 12 months.