The private armed security team (PAST) on-board a chemical tanker successfully repelled an attempted attack by suspected Somali pirates 160nm off the central coast of Somalia.

The vessel, Motor Tanker (MT) Leopard Sun, was en route from Sohar, Oman, to Cape Town, South Africa, at the time of the incident.

EU Navfor stated that two skiffs approached the 50,000t, Singapore-flagged tanker from the stern and fired upon the vessel during the attack.

The vessel’s PAST subsequently reciprocated by firing warning shots.

The incident lasted around 20 minutes and ended when the skiffs were forced to turn away, leaving MT Leopard Sun and its crew safe.

“The reporting of the incident to UKMTO / EU Navfor Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) was exemplary in both speed and detail.”

EU Navfor said in a statement: “The reporting of the incident to UKMTO / EU Navfor Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) was exemplary in both speed and detail, including the damage to the ship from gunfire from the skiffs.

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“EU Navfor MSCHOA issued navigation warnings and alerts to inform both mariners and merchant vessels in the high-risk area, and the wider shipping industry of the attack.”

“Merchant vessels in the proximity of the location where the incident took place have been warned directly of the existence of a potential pirate action group (PAG).”

The latest incident was the first of its kind to occur since the attack on MV Ever Dynamic in November last year.