On 12 May between 06:30 LT and 08:00 LT four vessel were attacked while anchored between 6 and 10 NM off shore Fujairah:
While the attacks led to substantial damage to assets, fortunately no significant damage to people or environment appear to have occurred.
The attacks were allegedly carried out using explosives, but the means of deployment of these explosives remain unknown. Potential means of delivery include combat swimmers using mini submarines, remotely operated underwater vehicles or even guided underwater drones.
The incidents are still being investigated, and so far, there is no clear evidence pointing to who was behind the attacks. However, the circumstances surrounding the incident seem to point to Iran:
Against this backdrop and in view of the geographical proximity of Fujairah to Iran, and when assessing the capability, intent and opportunity of Iran, it seems likely that Iran has played a role in the 12 May attacks. However, other scenarios cannot be ruled out at this point.
The Lloyd’s Market Association’s Joint War Committee has published a revised set of listed areas, and these now include the territorial waters of Oman, United Arab Emirates and the Persian or Arabian Gulf and adjacent waters including the Gulf of Oman west of Longitude 58°E. Until further, it seems prudent that members take notice of the listed areas and take certain precautions when operating inside them. In that vein, especially ships with ties to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen are likely to be at risk, although attacks on other ships cannot be excluded.
Members operating ships in the areas with increased threat should take following precautions:
The facts surrounding the 12 May incidents are still firming up, and this guidance will be updated if needed.
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