Saudi Arabian border guards rescued 26 sailors on Thursday after an Iran-flagged oil tanker’s engine failed and its captain lost control.
The Search and Rescue Coordination Center in Jeddah (JMRCC) received a message from Jeddah Islamic Port and the Saudi Search and Rescue Center at the General Authority of Civil Aviation after the Happines I tanker’s captain sent out an SOS distress signal, according to a report by Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The tanker, with 24 Iranian and 2 Bangladeshi crew members on board, was headed towards the Suez Canal.
The vessel was carrying over 1 million barrels of fuel oil that may have leaked.
The National Plan for the Prevention of Marine Disasters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was activated and an immediate rescue mission launched to help prevent any environmental damage or contamination that may have occurred as a result of an oil leak.
Several Saudi Arabian vessels belonging to the Border Guard, the Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Aramco and Bahri Company were among the parties to respond to the rescue operations.
“All necessary precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the vessel’s crew and provide necessary support and assistance,” the official spokesman of the General Directorate of the Border Guard.
“This action stems from the humanitarian role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as usual in such cases,” he added.