The Greek-owned tanker Aegea on Friday managed to repel an attack by pirates, 300 nautical miles from Oman, after a pitched battle with eight armed men aboard a fishing boat that lasted one and a half hours. The tanker's crew of 27 included 10 Greeks and three Britons working as a security detail.

The ship resisted two attacks, during which the pirates shot against it with rifles and also three rockets. Two of the rockets fell wide of their target while a third landed on the deck of the tanker without exploding. No one on board the vessel was injured.

The captain of the Aegea finally succeeded in eluding the pirates by taking evasive action.

The ship, owned by the Greek shipping firm Chandris (Hellas) Inc, had left India heading for the Suez canal without cargo.

The Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fisheries ministry operation room was informed of the incident, as was the European counter-piracy force.