Two members of the crew of a tanker that suffered an attack under still unclear circumstances in the Arabian Sea near Oman died as a result of this action, the operating company reported on Friday. Zodiac Maritime, owned by an Israeli billionaire.
“With great regret, we understand that the incident on board the ‘Mercer Street’ on July 29, 2021 has resulted in the deaths of two crew members on board: a Romanian national and a British national,” the company said in a statement. release.
Shortly after, he announced in another note that the vessel, which was traveling without cargo, was already “sailing under the control of its crew and under its own power at 14 knots to a safe place with a US naval escort.”
However, it is still not clear whether the attack, which took place on Thursday night, is an act of piracy, as the operator initially suspected, or of another type, since the maritime security company Dryad Global indicated that it could have been carried out with a drone and be similar to previous aggressions carried out by Iran.
If this point is confirmed, it would be the first time that an action of this type causes fatalities.
Zodiac said in one of its latest statements that it had no news that other crew members were injured in the incident and that the details of this “are still being established and an investigation is currently being carried out” into what happened.
However, Dryad Global argued that, according to the British Navy’s Commercial Maritime Operations (UKMTO) entity, which provides information for international trade, the “Mercer Street”, with the Liberian flag, could have suffered two attacks on Thursday.
The first, he said, took place on Thursday morning and “was related to the sighting of a drone from which it is understood that ‘some flashes came out’ “, in reference to the possible launch of projectiles, which were seen falling into the water.
The second, the nature of which “remains unclear”, caused “an explosion on board the ship” in which the two victims were allegedly killed.
According to this security company, this attack “has considerable similarities with the larvae conflict between Israel and Iran “ and that, he assured, has resulted in four confirmed attacks against ships related to Israel, two with connections to Iran, since last February, all of them without fatalities.
The “Mercer Street”, according to Zodiac, is Japanese owned and at the time of the incident he was in the northern Indian Ocean, “traveling from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah (United Arab Emirates) with no cargo on board.”
For its part, Dryad Global indicated that the ship has a Liberian flag and has a crew of 27 people of various nationalities, including Romanian, Russian, Chinese, Ukrainian, Filipino, Georgian and Indian.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.