US diving experts to probe damage to oil tanker
A Japanese oil tanker that was damaged in mysterious circumstances last week in Omani waters is being examined by US Navy diving experts.
The vessel, owned by Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd, was left with a large dent and its side and windows blown out after the incident. UAE officials suggested it could have collided with another vessel or hit a mine.
The specialist diving team has been dispatched to Furjairah where M Star is anchored 10 miles off the coast, the National reports on Sunday.
“A US Navy team is carrying out diving operations to determine the extent of the damage to the oil tanker,” Lt John Fage, the spokesperson for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, told the paper.
Omani officials initially said the boat, carrying 200,000 barrels of oil, had been hit by a ‘freak wave’ near the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
The Strait is the main transit point for tankers hauling oil from producers including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and Kuwait.