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‘Exceptional dedication and bravery’ — fire on Trafigura-operated Marlin Luanda extinguished

Crew are safe and the vessel is sailing towards safe harbour, a Trafigura spokesperson said

The blaze on board Marlin Luanda has been extinguished, and all crew safe. The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was struck by the Houthis as it was transiting the Gulf of Aden. Trafigura hailed the ‘exceptional dedication and bravery’ of the ship’s master and crew, and the assistance provided by the Indian, US and French navies

THE blaze on board the Trafigura-operated tanker Marlin Luanda (IMO: 9829899) has been fully extinguished, and the vessel is sailing towards “safe harbour”, a company spokesperson said in update Saturday.

“We would like to recognise the exceptional dedication and bravery of the ship’s master and crew who managed to control the fire in highly difficult circumstances, as well as the essential assistance provided by Indian, United States and French Navy vessels to achieve this outcome,” the Trafigura spokesperson said in a statement.

“No further vessels operating on behalf of Trafigura are currently transiting the Gulf of Aden and we continue to assess carefully the risks involved in any voyage, including in respect of security and safety of the crew, together with shipowners and customers.”

The Marshall Islands-flagged, 109,991 dwt product tanker was struck by the Houthis while it was sailing east through the Gulf of Aden, signalling its destination as Singapore.

US central command (Centcom) said on social media platform X that Luanda was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile. In the early hours of Saturday, the US struck and destroyed a Houthi anti-ship missile “aimed into the Red Sea and which was prepared to launch,” Centcom said.

The Luanda’s voyage appears to have originated in Kalamata OPL where it had conducted at least two ship-to-ship transfers with vessels that arrived from Russian ports, Lloyd’s List Intelligence data shows. Vortexa modelled with medium confidence that it received cargoes of naphtha in the two STS transfers.

There is no suggestion that any sanctions were breached.

Celebrating the attack, Houthi military spokesperson Yayha Sare’e said Launda was a “British oil ship”. However, her ties to the UK are somewhat limited.

The ship is leased by Trafigura on a bareboat finance lease that is serviced by UK-based Oceonix Services Limited, but is ultimately owned by a group of institutional investors in Luxembourg advised by JP Morgan.

JP Morgan has stated that it does not own the vessel, and that Oceonix is not its subsidiary.

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