The mission to prevent a massive oil spill in the Red Sea hit a crucial milestone last week as almost all the 1.14 million barrels of crude stored on the decaying FSO Safer vessel moored offshore Yemen was successfully transferred to a double-hull tanker.

This averted what the United Nations described as a potentially “monumental environmental and humanitarian catastrophe”.

The FSO Safer, a single-hull vessel converted 35 years ago from an oil tanker built in 1976, had not been maintained since 2015 due to ongoing conflict in Yemen and was considered to be at high risk of breaking apart or exploding.