Breaking news out of the Middle East where we’re seeing reports that two oil tankers have been attacked in the Gulf of Oman near Iran:
The US navy is assisting two oil tankers that may have attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Our defence correspondent @AliBunkallSKY says the attacker is unknown, but says fingers are being pointed at Iran.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 13, 2019
The two ships are the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous:
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) June 13, 2019
This is photo was allegedly taken aboard the Front Altair:
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 13, 2019
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is actually in Iran right now (we’re not sure what “Japan-related” means):
Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning.
Iran's proposed Regional Dialogue Forum is imperative.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 13, 2019
According to the WSJ, one of the ships is owned by a Bermuda-based shipping company, the other by a Singapore-based company:
Bermuda-based shipping company Frontline Ltd. said one of its vessels, Front Altair, was on fire in the Gulf of Oman and its crew had been safely evacuated from the ship. A spokesman said the company was investigating the incident but didn’t know how the fire had started.
The crew of the Front Altair was picked up by the Hyundai Dubai. Her master was heard on the radio by other vessels saying that the “fire came from a surface attack.”
Singapore-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which manages the second vessel, the Kokuka Courageous, said in a statement that the vessel was “damaged as a result of the suspected attack,” which damaged the hull above the water line. All 21 crew had abandoned the vessel and were safe.
It’s not clear yet what happened, but CNN is reporting the ships were “struck by some sort of shell”:
"What we know is that the ships, according to the captain of one of them, was struck by some sort of shell," reports @NicRobertsonCNN following reports that two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. https://t.co/TKqPkh1EBs pic.twitter.com/JKuwZ5XjIe
— New Day (@NewDay) June 13, 2019
According to unconfirmed media sources, one of the tankers may have sunk:
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) June 13, 2019
It looks like all of the sailors abandoned ship:
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) June 13, 2019
The U.S. Navy is assisting both ships and crews:
DEVELOPING STORY this morning – Two oil tankers damaged in a suspected attack in the Gulf of Oman. US Navy ships helping out including USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Arlington https://t.co/TSbfB8S3NT
— Erica Greenway (@ericagreenway) June 13, 2019