Pirates have seized a giant Saudi-owned oil tanker in the Indian Ocean off the Kenyan coast and are steering it towards Somalia, the US Navy reports.
The US-bound tanker was captured on Saturday some 450 nautical miles south-east of the port of Mombasa, and is now approaching the Somali port of Eyl.
The Sirius Star is carrying its full load of 2m barrels - more than one-quarter of Saudi Arabia's daily output.
It is about as long as a US aircraft carrier and, when loaded, weighs more than three times as much.
"It's the largest ship that we've seen pirated," said Lt Christensen.
News of the attack raised crude oil prices on global markets following an earlier slump, Reuters news agency reported.
One shipful can do that? Yeesh.
Attacks on shipping off the Horn of Africa and Kenya by pirates, who are mostly Somali, prompted foreign navies to send warships to the area this year.
A fat lot o' good that seems to be doing! You'd think some of these navies could provide an escort while the ships transit the danger area. Or a squad of Marines.
I would like to see the emergence of modern Q-ships. Or a return to armed merchantmen, used since the days of sail. Maybe since the days of oars fer chrissake! Or me and a coupla other ol' farts from The American Patriot Institute with a Ma Deuce. If ya see some small boats approaching your ship out in the middle of that particular stretch of the goddam ocean, you should know they're not going to try to sell ya t-shirts. Seems to me that a watchful eye and an itchy trigger finger could prevent a lot of this shit.