Timeline and details: June 13 Gulf of Oman tanker “attack”


On June 13 a major incident involving two oil tankers took place in the Gulf of Oman off the Iranian port of Jask (بندر جاسک). This port also serves as an Iranian naval base and a center for drones and submarines. The two ships that were allegedly targeted were within 20 miles of Jask, according to sites that track ships. Jask naval base has submarines, drones and anti-ship missiles have been tested near the site. Major Iranian naval operations took place in this area in February.

June 10 Ships begin journey

The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous leaves the Saudi port of Al Jubail on June 10 toward Singapore.

The MT Front Altair, a Marshall Islands-flagged crude oil tanker leaves the UAE port of Ruwais on Tuesday June 10 heading to the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung. It is carrying 75,000 tonnes of Naphtha.

6:12 am The first distress call

Commander Joshua Frey of the US Fifth Fleet said that the US heard two separate distress calls. The first was at 6:12am.

7:00 am distress call

US Navy hears second distress call, perhaps from the second ship that is harmed.

8:00 am (approx) Oman reports

In Oman locals report the explosions.

8:20 am Pakistan reports

Sources in Pakistan say they have heard about explosions, speak to Iranian Tasnim News. Tasnim: “No group has yet claimed responsibility for this.”

Iran’s Al-Alam reports the incident

Iran’s Al-Alam reports the incident based on the Oman sources. Tasnim and Al-Mayadeen follow, quoting Pakistani sources as well.

9:00am AP reports UK Maritime “caution”

Associate Press receives a report from United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations urging “extreme caution”. This office, in Dubai, is staffed by UK naval reserves and deals issues relating to the Persian Gulf and and Gulf of Oman. “UK and its partners are currently investigating,” the group said.

8:00-10:00 tankers are evacuated

“Two tankers were evacuated following an unspecified incident.” Al-Jazeera: 21 crew of the vessel Kokuka Courageous abandoned ship.

10:00am First US response

Cmdr. Joshua Frey, spokesman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, says they are “aware” of a reported incident in the area: “We are working on getting details,” according to the AP.

10:40: US confirms it received distress call

US confirms that it received the calls at 6-7am. “We are aware of the reported attack on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. US Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12a.m. local time and a second one at 7:00 a.m.,”

10:53: US is “rendering assistance”

“US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance,” the US says.

11:00 The Kokuka Curageous is not in danger of sinking

Only 14 miles from the coast of Iran and 70 miles from Fujairah “The Kokuka Courageous remains in the area and is not in any danger of sinking. The cargo of methanol is intact,” a company statement says.

11:00am approx: Front Altair suspected hit by torpedo

“Suspected of being hit by a torpedo” around noon Taiwan time (0400GMT), Wu I-Fang, CPC’s petrochemical business division CEO, told Reuters.

11:15 Brent crude price rise

Brent crude rises to over $61, a 2.3 per cent increase, eventually reaching 4 percent increase.

11:16 “Magnetic mine” suspected

A report at Straits Times asserts that a “magnetic mine” may have harmed the Kokuka.

12:00 44 sailors are safe

“Forty-four sailors from the two foreign oil tankers which had an accident this morning in the Sea of Oman were saved from the water by the (navy) rescue unit of Hormozgan province and transferred to the port of Bandar-e-Jask,” IRNA quoted an “informed source.” The Hyundai Dubai vessel played a role in helping.

11:43 Japan expresses concern

Japan’s Trade Ministry says the two oil tankers reportedly attacked near the Strait of Hormuz carried “Japan-related” cargo. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Tehran.