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Tanker struck by projectile off coast of Oman

Oil products tanker Pacific Zircon (IMO 9539573) was struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman late on Tuesday November 15th local time, amid heightened tension with Iran.

The tanker is associated with Israeli businessman Idan Ofer.

Commander Timothy Hawkins of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said that the US military was aware of an incident in the Gulf of Oman involving a commercial vessel. UKMTO also said that it was aware of an incident, but provided no further details.

An official who spoke to Associated Press identified the vessel attacked as Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon. That tanker is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company ultimately owned by Idan Ofer.

Eastern Pacific Shipping confirmed that the Pacific Zircon, carrying gas oil, had been hit by a projectile about 150 miles off the coast of Oman. It was not immediately clear whether the explosion had been caused by an air- or sea-borne device.

“We are in communication with the vessel. There are no reports of injuries or pollution. All crew are safe and accounted for,” the company said, adding that “there is some minor damage to the vessel’s hull, but no spillage of cargo or water ingress”.

Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the attack on the Pacific Zircon. It wasn’t immediately clear where the vessel was on Wednesday. AIS on Tuesday night had the vessel deep in the Arabian Sea after leaving the Omani port of Sohar, destination Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 12th.

2013-built, Liberia-flagged, 28,426 gt Pacific Zircon is owned by Friend Shine Shipping SA care of manager Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte of Singapore. It is entered with London Club on behalf of Friend Shine Shipping SA (owner) / Tanker Pacific Chartering (2) Ltd.

Source Insurance Marine News, November 17th 2022

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