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The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) says vessels should ‘exercise caution’ when in, or close to, anchorages off Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The advisory came after what MARAD called unconfirmed reports of attacks or sabotage.

It followed an announcement from the UAE’s official news agency WAM that ‘four commercial vessels [had been] subjected to sabotage operations’ on May 12.

The report gave no details of the vessels involved. It did however say there had been no casualties and that there had been no spills of fuel or harmful chemicals.

It quoted the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying the incidents took place near UAE territorial waters, east of Fujairah.

In an apparent reference to the same incidents Saudi Arabia officials later said two Saudi oil tankers had been attacked causing “significant damage to the structures.”

A day after the WAM report Thome Ship Management said the Norwegian-registered 47,210 deadweight tonne (dwt) tanker ANDREA VICTORY had been damaged by an unknown object while in the area.

‘The master reported the crew were unharmed but there was a hole in the hull area of the aft peak tank. The ship is not in any danger of sinking,’ the ship management company said in a statement carried by Reuters.

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A chemical tanker was seized by armed hijackers in Lome Anchorage in Togo.

Intruders were able to board the 1,433 deadweight tonne (dwt) G DONA I from a canoe.

The attack took place around midnight local time on the night of May 11/12.

A Togolese Navy patrol intervened after the tanker was seen manoeuvring erratically and failed to respond to requests for contact.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) said the navy intercepted the tanker 25 nautical miles (nm) from the anchorage.

Eight suspected hijackers were arrested and the tanker escorted back to Lome.

The tanker’s crew were unharmed.