Gulf of Oman ‘tanker blasts’: US Navy aids distressed vessels

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AFP

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One of many ships broken within the 12 Could assault off the UAE

The US Navy’s fifth Fleet says it’s rendering help after receiving separate misery calls from two oil tankers within the Gulf of Oman.

Regional media stated there have been explosions and fires on each vessels, the Entrance Altair and Kokuka Brave.

Crew from each vessels have been safely evacuated, their operators say.

The incident comes a month after 4 tankers have been attacked off the United Arab Emirates, which blamed an unnamed “state actor”.

The US stated Iran was behind the assaults, which concerned naval mines, an accusation Tehran denied. The assaults elevated long-standing tensions between Iran and the US and its allies within the Gulf.

Oil costs rose as a lot as three.9% from a close to five-month low following Thursday’s incident, Bloomberg reviews.

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Josh Frey, of the fifth Fleet, stated in an announcement: “US naval forces within the area acquired two separate misery calls at 06:12 native time (08:12 GMT) and a second one at 07:00.

“US Navy ships are within the space and are rendering help.”

The UK Royal Navy-linked UK Maritime Commerce Operations (UKMTO) security group earlier issued a warning, urging “excessive warning” within the space.

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Media captionWhy does the Strait of Hormuz matter?

Wu I-fang, a spokesman for Taiwan’s state oil refiner CPC Corp, which chartered the Entrance Altair, stated it was carrying 75,00zero tonnes of naphtha and was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo”, though this has not been confirmed.

He stated all of the crew had been rescued from the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel.

The operator of the Panama-flagged Kokuka Brave, BSM Ship Administration, stated its crew deserted ship and have been rescued by a passing vessel.

The tanker was carrying methanol and was not in peril of sinking, a spokesman stated. It’s presently situated about 80 miles from Fujairah within the UAE and 16 miles from Iran.

The US underneath President Donald Trump has taken a tough line in direction of Iran, accusing it of being a destabilising drive within the Center East.

The US despatched an plane service strike group and B-52 bombers to the area at first of Could in response to what it stated was an unspecified plan by Iran-backed forces to assault US forces within the space.

Iran has rejected the claims and has accused the US of aggressive behaviour.

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