Blast Hits Two Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman, Iran Rescues All 44 Crew Members of Tankers Hit In Sea Of Oman

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Blast Hits Two Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman

June 13, 2019

Iranian rescue workers saved 44 sailors from tankers after a reported attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, and took them to the Iranian port of Jask, the state-run IRNA news agency reported on Thursday.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet also said that it was assisting the two oil tankers targeted in a “reported attack”, after the vessels sent disstress calls.

It was not immediately clear who attacked the vessels, one of which has been identified as Front Altair, a crude oil tanker owned by Norway’s Frontline and carrying the flag of the Marshall Islands.

According to shipping newspaper Tradewinds, Frontline’s oil tanker had been “torpedoed” off the coast of the Emirate of Fujairah.

Taiwan’s energy firm CPC said it had suspicions that Front Altair, which was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, was hit by an unknown onject.

Meanwhile, shipping company Bernhard Schulte said that its oil tanker Kokuka Courageous was also damaged in the incident. Kokuka was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore with a cargo of methanol.

“The hull has been breached above the water line on the starboard side,” the company said in a statement. “All crew are reported safe and only one minor injury reported.”

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Press TV said that two successive blasts affected two oil tankers on Thursday morning in what it described as “attacks”.

Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet quoted Oman authorities as saying that at least one tanker had been attacked in Iran’s territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman.

Brent crude climbed 4.5 per cent in the wake of the reports.

Meanwhile, the UK Maritime Trade Operations, a maritime safety group run by the Royal Navy, has warned about an unspecified incident in the Gulf of Oman between the Emirate of Fujairah and Iran’s coast. The group urged “extreme caution”, given the ongoing tensions in the region between the United States and Iran, and said that an investigation is underway.

It comes a month after another apparent attack on vessels in the Gulf. On 12 May, four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Emirati and one Norwegian — were targeted off the coast of Fujairah in what the UAE Foreign Ministry described as acts of sabotage.

The three countries whose ships were damaged said in a joint statement that limped mines had been placed in a “sophisticated and coordinated operation” by divers. The UAE suggested that it was likely the work of a “state actor” but stop short of identifying the culprit.

US officials, however, were quick to point the finger at Iran.

Tehran has denied any involvement and called for an investigation.

Source: Iranian Agencies

Iran Rescues All 44 Crew Members of Tankers Hit In Sea Of Oman

By Staff, Agencies

Iran assisted members of two oil tankers hit by yet unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman, transferring all of their 44 staff to its southern shores.

An informed source said an Iranian rescue vessel had picked up the 23 crew members of one of the tankers and 21 of the other from the sea and had brought them to safety at Iran’s Jask, in the southern Hormozgan Province, IRNA reported on Thursday.

Earlier, media reports said explosions had occurred on the two oil tankers, apparently as a result of attacks.

The source, whose name and affiliation were not disclosed, said one of the vessels caught fire at 08:50 am Iranian time on Thursday and the second one at 09:50.

Details about the incidents are still sketchy, but the ships are known to have sent distress signals to nearby ports and vessels.

While the US Navy claimed it had been assisting the tankers, the Iranian rescue vessel was first to reach them and rescue the crew, who had plunged into and were floating on the sea to avoid the fire.

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