One of the world’s largest crude tankers, the vessel signaled distress at 6:30 a.m. Iran time on Tuesday, about 75 miles (about 121 kilometers) off of Yanbu, owner NITC said in a statement. Both the ship and the crew are safe and stable, NITC said, without saying whether the Helm can continue the voyage, Bloomberg reported.
The US failed in efforts to seize a loaded supertanker that had been blocked in Gibraltar for more than a month.
That vessel, the Adrian Darya 1, is now sailing east in the Mediterranean and signaling Greece, potentially to transfer crude to other ships.
Iranian tankers have turned off their satellite transponders intermittently in an apparent attempt to mask their voyages to carry crude. The Helm appears to have used that strategy since loading some crude in Iran in May.
The Helm, a very large crude carrier capable of carrying about two million barrels of crude, is not full, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.
Another NITC tanker that encountered trouble off the Saudi coast was kept in the port of Jeddah for more than two months before leaving in July and returning to Iran this month.