Seafarers unions express concern about 'sabotage' attack and rising tensions in the Gulf

May 16, 2019
ITF Instant News Alert May 2019

Today, global seafarers’ unions expressed concern about the suspected 'sabotage' of four commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and the rising tensions in the Gulf.

The attack reportedly occurred on at 6am local time (10:00 GMT) on Sunday causing damage to the structure of the four vessels – including Saudi oil tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad, the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory, and a UAE bunkering barge, the A Michel – anchored at one of the world's largest bunkering hubs near Fujairah.

This week ITF seafarers’ unions from around the world are meeting in Genoa, Italy, to discuss the issues facing seafarers globally.

'Seafarers’ unions from around the world today expressed concern at the situation in Fujairah and the escalating friction in the region,' said Dave Heindel, chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Section.

'Clearly our priority is the seafarers aboard these vessels, seafaring is challenging and dangerous enough on any given day without adding the threat of terrorism into the picture. Any risk to seafarers’ safety is of grave concern.

'Seafarers’ unions from across the world today urged all governments to do everything possible to de-escalate the situation and assure safe navigation and the security of maritime traffic in the region,' said Heindel.

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