Maersk vessel attacked by pirates in Gulf of Oman

COPENHAGEN Wed May 23, 2012 11:12am EDT

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COPENHAGEN May 23 (Reuters) - The Maersk Texas, a multi-purpose dry cargo ship, was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman but guards repelled the attack, Maersk Line Ltd, a unit of Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk , said on Wednesday.

The Maersk Texas, a U.S.-flagged 19,592 deadweight tonnes (dwt) vessel, 148 metres (486 feet) long, came under attacked by pirates in skiffs at noon on Wednesday while transiting the Gulf of Oman, northeast of Fujairah, Maersk Line Ltd said.

Despite warnings, the pirates continued to approach the vessel and then fired upon it, after which a security team returned fire in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard rules of engagement, Maersk Line Ltd said.

"All hands onboard are safe and unharmed, and the vessel is proceeding on its voyage," Maersk Line Ltd said.

(Reporting by John Acher)

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