On June 26, the 99 meter long, 6764 dwt tanker Rama 2 sank in bad weather in the Gulf of Aden near Socotra Island, Yemen. The Rama 2 was en route to Al Hamriya, UAE with 5500 tons of gasoline. While off Oman, weather conditions worsen with waves reaching 5 meters. The tanker had suffered some structural failure and developed a heavy list to starboard. The crew sent out a distress call stating the Rama 2 was sinking and needed assistance. As the list increased, the crew attempted to abandon ship. However, the vessel’s lifeboat was unable to launch leaving the 14 crew to use the vessel’s life rafts.
The distress call was relayed to the Combined Maritime Force which launched a search and rescue plan. Multiple UK Naval ships and aircraft along with three commercial vessels tanker MTM Tortola, LNG tanker Soyo and tanker Sea Power assisted in the operation. The MTM Tortola arrived on scene and was able to rescue 10 crew from the water. Two more crew were rescued by the Sea Power. The remaining two crew were still missing. One was spotted by aircraft and later hoisted to safety by a UK helicopter. The remaining crewman could not be recovered and was reported to be deceased.
Reports state there was a large oil slick where the Rama 2 had sunk, but the heavy seas was dispersing the pollution.