Two tankers damaged in suspected attacks in Gulf of Oman

Front Altair in 2018 Image: MarineTraffic.com/patrick vereecke Front Altair in 2018

Two oil tankers transiting the Gulf of Oman 14 nautical miles off the Iranian coast have sustained varying degrees of damage after they were allegedly attacked by unidentified hostile elements on the morning of Thursday, June 13.

The crews of the Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair (pictured) and the Panamanian-flagged Kokuka Courageous sent out distress calls between 06:00 and 07:00 local time saying that they were under attack and that explosions and fires had broken out on board their respective vessels.

Front Altair was reportedly struck by a torpedo, but this has yet to be confirmed.

The crews, which totaled 44 personnel, abandoned ship following the explosions and have since been rescued and brought to shore by responding vessels from the Iranian Navy and various commercial operators.

No serious injuries or oil spills have been reported while the tankers have exhibited no signs of imminent sinking.

The US Navy's Fifth Fleet headquartered in Bahrain has also deployed ships and other assets to the area to render assistance.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which is run by the British Royal Navy, has since issued an alert pertaining to the incident and has advised that vessels passing through the area exercise "extreme caution."

Last modified onThursday, 13 June 2019 20:10

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