LONDON (Reuters) - Small craft thought to be Iranian fired on a Singapore-flagged oil products tanker after the ship ignored an order to stop in international waters in the Gulf, the ship’s owner said on Thursday.
Owner South Maritime Pte Ltd said in a statement the Singapore-flagged Alpine Eternity was attacked by a number of small craft, “thought to be Iranian”, earlier on Thursday while in international waters off the United Arab Emirates after it had sailed from Bahrain en route to Fujairah.
“At 0800 hrs GMT, a number of craft approached the Alpine Eternity firing warning shots and the master was ordered by VHF to stop,” South Maritime Pte said.
“The master ignored the order and broke away from his passage and headed into UAE waters at the same time requesting assistance. At the point when the order was ignored and when the vessel changed course it was directly fired upon.”
The owner said the vessel safely reached the port of Jebel Ali, adding that there was no serious damage to the vessel and none of the 23 crew members were injured.
Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Andrew Roche