BW Rhine, a Singapore-registered commercial oil tanker, was attacked by an “explosives-laden boat”, according to an official spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy.
It is yet unclear who was behind the attack and there are no other details about the explosive-laden vessel at this point.
BW Rhine was anchored in Jeddah, a Saudi port.
It was reported to be damaged in the early hours of Monday, said Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in a statement yesterday.
The tanker suffered hull damage and there was a small fire, but the 22 crew members – none of them is Singaporean – were not injured, added MFA.
The ship is operated by Hafnia, a Singapore-headquartered tanker firm.
On Monday, Hafnia said in a statement that the tanker was hit while discharging cargo in Jeddah at about 12.40am local time that day.
The crew managed to extinguish the fire with assistance from the shore-based fire brigade and tug boats.
“It is possible that some oil has escaped from the vessel, but this has not been confirmed and instrumentation currently indicates that oil levels on board are at the same level as before the incident,” it added.
The incident comes less than three weeks after an oil tanker was damaged in a possible attack at the Saudi terminal of Shuqaiq, south of Jeddah, reported Bloomberg on Monday.
While it is still uncertain who is to be blamed for the incident, the Bloomberg report mentioned that Yemen’s Houthi rebels have previously used sea mines to attack ships in Saudi Arabian waters.
The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, have been fighting Yemen’s United Nations-backed government since 2014.
A Saudi-led coalition intervened a year later on the side of the government.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is currently investigating the incident with the relevant Saudi authorities.
Singapore condemns all attacks on commercial vessels which pose a serious threat to the security and safety of international maritime navigation and trade, added MFA.