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US enables refloating of blacklisted VLCC Young Yong

Photo: Taken from video on Salvage and Wreck Instrgram Young_Yong_Salvage_and_Wreck.jpg
A VLCC which ran aground off Indonesia has been refloated and is reportedly carrying sanctioned Venezuelan oil.

Young Yong ran aground off Indonesia on the evening of October 26 and its owner Technology Bright was subsequently placed under sanction by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) as part of a crackdown on an oil smuggling ring with ties to Iran. Prior to the grounding, Singaporean authorities warned the vessel of shallow water and the risk of grounding.

OFAC greenlit some transaction related to the vessel to enable its recovery and escort to port, as well as to ensure the safety of the crew. No delivery of the cargo has been approved.

The successful refloating operation included the offloading of some of the vessel’s cargo. Once afloat, the vessel was towed by tugs to an anchorage.

Reuters reports that the vessel is carrying sanctioned Venezuelan crude oil.

Since coming under sanction, the vessel has lost both its Djibouti flag and ABS class.

Concern has been raised over the safety implications of a growing “dark fleet” of tankers operating outside of international maritime regulation. Operating outside of the law, the vessels are often older, in a questionable state of repair and without the statutory protections for crew.