x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

US divers examine damaged tanker

The specialist divers were dispatched to Fujairah to investigate the cause of the damage to the vessel, which is anchored off the Fujairah port.

A US Navy diving team has begun examining the underside of the Japanese oil tanker which was struck mysteriously in the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday. The specialist divers were dispatched to Fujairah to investigate the cause of the damage to the vessel, which is anchored about 13 nautical miles off the Fujairah port. The oil tanker, M. Star, was travelling from Al Ruwais to Japan when an incident occurred in the Strait of Hormuz, leaving the ship with a large dent in its side and blown out windows and buckled doors at deck level. Mitsui OSK Lines, said its crew heard and explosion and saw a flash of light. Experts have said the tanker, which was carrying 200,000 barrels of oil, may have collided with another vessel or a stray mine.

"A US Navy team is carrying out diving operations to determine the extent of the damage to the oil tanker," said Lt John Fage, the spokesperson for the US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet. The investigation is commissioned by the Mitsui OSK Lines, according to Lt Fage. On Friday, Kazumi Makamura, a spokeswoman for Mitsui OSK, said that the company had hired a military expert to lead the investigation into determining the cause.

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