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Condensate tanker collision off Dubai coast: Crew shaken but safe

11 February 2009

An oil tanker carrying around $9m worth of petroleum products has collided with a container vessel off the Dubai coast last Tuesday. Both vessels were set on fire, sending up a thick plume of black smoke. No serious casualties have been reported although two crew members had to be rescued from the sea but only sustained minor injuries.

Tanker on fire off UAE coast
Tanker on fire off UAE coast

A statement from the Dubai-based port operator DP World, which runs Jebel Ali Port where the incident took place said that there were 19 crew members on board the Singapore-flagged container ship, Sima Saman, which was on its way from Jebel Ali to Sharjah, and 20 crew on the inbound tanker, Kashmir, which was carrying a cargo of oil condensate.

The Kashmir, was built in 1988 and was carrying 30,000 tons of condensates from Iran to the UAE port of Jebel Ali. Sima Saman is a container vessel, which was leaving the port when the incident took place some seven nautical miles from Jebel Ali.

It was not immediately clear what caused the incident but one witness said the oil tanker appeared to be badly damaged. A local sea plane pilot went up to have a look and saw two ships, one of them badly damaged. Both were on fire but the tanker looked the more serious, the pilot suggested..

In September last year, a helicopter crashed into an oil rig off the coast of Dubai, killing all seven people on board and forcing the closure of the Rashind oil field.

Most of the UAE's oil is located in the capital Abu Dhabi and oil industry sources said the fire did not involve any of Dubai's offshore oil platforms. Dubai, part of the seven-member UAE federation, is a small oil producer, pumping less than 100,000 barrels per day. The UAE is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter with current output of around 2.26 million barrels per day.

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