Briton among two killed in attack on oil tanker in Arabian Sea

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Briton among two killed in attack on oil tanker in Arabian Sea


A British crew member was among two workers killed in an attack on an oil tanker off Oman, the company operating the vessel said.

Zodiac Maritime said the incident, which it called “suspected hacking”, also resulted in the death of a crew member from Romania.

“We are not aware of any harm caused to other staff. Our primary concern remains the safety and well-being of all on board and all those affected by the situation, ”said the company, which is based in the UK and is owned by an Israeli family. in a report.

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The coast of Oman (photo file)

“Details of the incident are still being worked out and an investigation into the incident is currently underway. We continue to work closely with UKMTO and other relevant authorities ”.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UK MTO) – part of the Department of Defense, which provides information on maritime safety – said it was a “non-piracy incident”.

It was not immediately clear how the tanker Mercer Street – a medium-sized Japanese-owned tanker – had been attacked or by whom.

The number of crews on board and their nationalities were also not immediately clear.

Iran has in the past been blamed for targeting tankers in the region with explosive devices – a threat that has prompted the UK and its allies to send more warships to the Gulf to better protect the vital waterway.

Britain’s MTO said the ship was about 152 nautical miles (280 km) northeast of the Omani port of Duqm when it was attacked on Thursday.

He did not give more details on the type of ship, the cargo, to whom it belonged or on any victims.

Zodiac Maritime said in a statement: “We can confirm that there was an alleged piracy incident aboard the tanker M / T Mercer Street.

“The vessel is a Japanese vessel managed by our UK-based Zodiac shipping office. At the time of the incident, the vessel was in the northern Indian Ocean, traveling from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah with no cargo on board.

“We are coordinating and liaising with UK MTO and other relevant authorities. “

A spokesperson for the Defense Ministry said: “We are aware of reports of an attack on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman. The British military headquarters in the region are currently investigating.

According to Eikon’s ship tracking, Mercer Street was heading to Fujairah, a bunkering port and oil terminal in the United Arab Emirates, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Iran and Israel have traded accusations in recent months of attacking each other’s ships.

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