Frontline Ltd. (Frontline) (NYSE: FRO) yesterday provided a further update on the LR2 tanker Front Altair. As previously reported, on June 13, an explosion occurred on the Front Altair shortly after the vessel had passed through the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
Frontline, reported yesterday that crew members of the Front Altair have now either returned home or have re-embarked the vessel to assist with recovery operations and ship to ship transfer of cargo into another Frontline operated vessel.
“Frontline wishes to express its gratitude to all parties who ensured the crew's safety and comfort during this difficult ordeal. The Company is extremely proud of the manner in which our highly-trained crew and vessel master followed protocol and operated according to the highest standards of the Merchant Marines to ensure their safety.”
Fortunately, Frontline was able to deploy emergency responders in a timely manner, who extinguished fire on the vessel within hours of the incident and ensured no pollution resulted. The Front Altair is in stable condition and anchored off Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Following transfer of cargo, damage to the Front Altair will be further inspected and the vessel will ultimately be moved to a shipyard for repair.
The Company continues to work with third parties, including governmental officials, to determine the cause of the explosion. As previously reported, the possibility that it was caused by mechanical or human error has been ruled out completely. Until further information is received regarding the cause of the explosion and the security of this important shipping lane is secured, Frontline will exercise extreme caution when considering new contracts in the region and will consider all possible measures to insure the safety of our crews and vessels operating in the area.