Oil tankers attacked in the Gulf of Oman amid US-Iran tensions – Crews rescued
BREAKING: Explosions have been heard on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman amid growing tensions in the region.
Iranian media claimed there had been explosions on two oil tankers.
One of the ships, the MT Front Altair, has reportedly sunk after catching fire amid claims it was attacked by a torpedo. Its crew of 23 were picked up by nearby vessel Hyundai Dubai.
The Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous were evacuated after sending distress signals – picked up by the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet – with 44 sailors rescued.
The Kokuka’s 21 crew were picked up by the nearby Vessel Coastal Ace, leaving the tanker adrift and empty after an engine room fire.
The Front Altair, owned by Norwegian firm Frontline, had been loaded at a port in the Gulf with a petroleum product known as naphtha and was on its way to the Far East.
Reports said the Front Altair, traveling from Qatar to Taiwan, had suffered three explosions and caught fire after a ‘surface attack’.
A UK maritime security group is warning that an unspecified incident has taken place within the Gulf of Oman and is urging “extreme caution” amid heightened US-Iran tensions.
The maritime safety group put out the alert early this morning.
Four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged near the Persian Gulf last month in an Iranian attack using naval mines.
The Gulf of Oman connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf.
It borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, and the United Arab Emirates on the west.