Saudi Border Guard says Iran-flagged oil tanker rescued off the coast of Jeddah

The official spokesman for the General Directorate of Border Guard announced on Thursday that 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, including an SOS distress signal from the ship HAPPINESS I, with the ship’s captain asking for help in towing the vessel because of engine failure and loss of control.

After  analyzing the information of HAPPINESS I, it turned out to be flying the flag of Iran, and has a crew consisting of 26 sailors, comprising 24 Iranian nationals and 2 Bangladeshi nationals. It was an oil tanker, located 70 nautical miles south-west of Jeddah Islamic Port towards 198 degrees.

The National Plan for the Prevention of Marine Disasters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was launched immediately in coordination with the parties involved in the plan. Several vessels belonging to the Border Guard, the Saudi Ports Authority, Saudi Aramco and Bahri Company began to respond to the operation to rescue the ship and its crew. 

To ensure that there is no environmental damage or contamination, the national plan to combat pollution was activated and Security Aviation was tasked with surveying the area aerially.

. The official spokesman said the Kingdom received a formal request, through the Saudi Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, from the Chargé d’Affaires of the Iranian delegation asking for assistance, which had already been launched immediately after receiving the distress message.

“All necessary precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the ship’s crew and provide necessary support and assistance,” he said.

“This action comes under the guidance of the wise leadership – may God preserve it – and stems from the humanitarian role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as usual in such cases,” said the spokesman of the General Directorate of the Border Guard.