The crew of a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker were rescued when the vessel caught fire off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to authorities.
“The UAE authorities are working to put out a fire that broke out aboard an oil tanker 21 miles off the coast of Sharjah after receiving a distress message,” an official statement from the UAE Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport read.
The statement added that an investigation was underway into the cause of the incident.
It also said that swift action by UAE search teams “rescued the sailors and the crew of the ship” which was not carrying any oil when the blaze broke out, apparently sparked by an accident during maintenance operations.
A spokesman for the United States’ Fifth Fleet, headquartered in nearby Bahrain, said the force was “aware of an incident, we are monitoring the situation.”
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it had received reports of a vessel on fire northwest of the United Arab Emirates’ emirate of Sharjah.
“This Advisory is not classified as a Maritime Security Event and has not been verified by UKMTO,” it said on its website.