Pirates have attacked an MOL LNG carrier off the coast of Oman.
Pirates fired guns and rocket propelled grenades at the 126,300-cbm LNG Aries (built 1977) close to of Masirah Island yesterday.
According to the IMB, who did not identify the vessel, three shots from the pirates hit the ship.
The incident is sure to raise concerns in the LNG sector which jealously guards its strong safety record.
Accounts of the incident suggest five or six pirates in the skiff moved alongside the vessel which was sailing in winds of up to force seven.
Rifle shots were then directed at this ship. However, it is unclear if there was any damage with an inspection not possible until weather conditions improve.
It is understood there were no armed guards on board the LNG Aries, which was loaded with a cargo bound for Suez. The crew are said to be shaken but unharmed.
Anti-piracy sources say it is equipped with razor wire and, perhaps unusually for a unit of its age, also has a citadel.
The LNG Aries attack comes just a month after the ship secured a two-year extension to its charter contract with Qatargas.