Crude Oil Tanker in Flames after Pirate Attack off Yemen

Supertanker of the same size as the 'Brillante Virtuoso' (

The crude oil tanker ‘Brillante Virtuoso’ was attacked by pirates in the early morning hours today and is, according to the NATO Shipping Centre, in flames and dead in the water off the coast of Yemen.

The ‘Brillante Virtuoso’, was attacked by pirates about 30 kilometers off the port of Aden, Yemen. Bloomberg reports, that the vessel was en-route from the Ukraine to China with a full cargo of 1 million barrels of crude oil and was about to take unarmed guards on board at Aden, when the attack took place.

According to Bloomberg, the crew of 26 is safe and uninjured.

The ship is currently owned by the Suez Fortune Investment Ltd. and registered in Majuro, Marshall Islands. It is classified as ‘Suezmax’ (meaning it is able to pass through the Suez Canal) with 149,599 ts DWT (deadweight, that is the maximum loading capacity of a freight ship).

(Sources: NATO Shipping Centre, Bloomberg,; 6 July 2011) / Image: JB Photography


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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