Two Tankers Damaged Near Strait of Hormuz; One Suffers ‘Suspected Attack’

13 June 2019

Tanker locations in the Gulf of Oman

he U.S. Fifth Fleet said two oil tankers were damaged in an incident near the Strait of Hormuz that one of the ships’ operators described as a suspected attack. Oil prices surged.

The development will inflame already-rising political tensions in the region weeks after four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged in what the U.S. said was an Iranian attack using naval mines. Tehran denied the charge.

The Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said it received two separate distress signals at 6:12 a.m. and about 7:00 a.m. local time. “U.S. Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance,” Commander Josh Frey, a spokesman, said. Iran said it has rescued 44 sailors.

The manager of tanker Kokuka Courageous, which was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore with a cargo of methanol, said the vessel “has been damaged as a result of the suspected attack.”