TEHRAN – An oil leak from the Iranian oil tanker SABITI that was targeted by two missiles in the Red Sea on Friday is under control, media reports said. Based on the latest reports, the oil spill has reached the least level and no fire was reported, as “all crew on board are safe and the situation is under control”.
There was no fire on the ship, as it is currently in a stable condition. The oil tanker named SABITI belonging to the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) sustained damage to the body when it was hit by two missiles 60 miles from the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
A statement by NITC said the SABITI tanker was hit by two separate explosions at 5:00 and 5:20 am Friday, probably after being struck by missiles, Iran’s Persian-language media reported. The incident took place some 60 miles from Jeddah early Friday.
The explosions have reportedly hit the vessel’s hull, causing heavy damages to the vessel’s two main tanks, which has resulted in an oil spill in the Red Sea. The spill has currently stopped, according to officials. It said the crew members are currently safe and none of them has been harmed in the explosions. The tanker is currently in a stable condition, the statement added.
The NITC later dismissed the reports that the vessel has caught fire, according to the Iranian oil ministry. The explosions came a few months after Iranian oil tanker Happiness-1 faced “engine failure” and lost its control with 26 on board off the Red Sea port of Jeddah, and was later transferred to the port city for maintenance.
According to Iranian officials, the incident had occurred on April 30 while Happiness I was on its way to the Suez Canal, and that water had leaked into the tanker’s engine room. The Saudis refused to let the vessel leave and demanded that Iran pay $200,000 a day for maintaining the vessel in the port, some $10 million in total. It was finally released on July 20 and returned home.
Also in June, two large tankers were hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman. The Marshal Islands-flagged Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous were hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman. At that time, Iranian rescue workers rushed to the assistance of two tankers hit by the unspecified accidents in the Sea of Oman, transferring all of their 44 crew members to its southern shores.
The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was, according to reports, heading from Qatar to Taiwan when a fire broke out on the tanker approximately 25 miles from Iran’s Jask port city. The Panama-flagged ship was also en route from a port in Saudi Arabia towards Singapore when a fire broke out approximately 28 miles from Jask.