Israeli Ship Targeted In Gulf Of Oman Blast As Officials Point Finger At Iran

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Feb 26, 2021 - 12:56 PM

update: It's been confirmed that the earlier 'mystery' blast of a ship in the Gulf of Oman took place on the Israeli-owned cargo ship Helios Ray. Israel is already reportedly looking at possible Iranian involvement as tensions rise between both countries over the Islamic Republic's alleged nuclear program.

"Officials from the security firm Dryad that was securing the ship are reportedly looking into the possibility of Iranian military being involved in the mysterious incident, suspicions that have increased among Israeli security officials investigating the incident," Bloomberg reports. 

It's owned by Tel Aviv-based Ray Shipping. The crew is said to be safe as the vessel heads to the nearest port to assess damage. 

Early photos of damage to the vessel are below. The 'mystery' blast is shaping up to appear similar to the mysterious limpet mine attacks in the Persian Gulf of summer 2019.

File image of the Helios Ray, which is being described as a car carrier:

"The US navy said it was monitoring the situation, while US-backed International Maritime Security Construct said an investigation was ongoing and that its ships were monitoring the situation," according to shipping news source Trade Winds.

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The International Maritime Security Construct tweets that the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) is aware of a report "of an explosion on a non-IMSC flagged merchant vessel in the Gulf of Oman." The incident occurred at 20:40 GMT on Thursday. 

UKMTO said, "investigations are ongoing. Vessel and crew are reported to be safe and proceeding to next port of call." 

UKMTO's advisory notice shows the location of where the explosion occurred. It warned other vessels in the Gulf of Oman to "exercise caution." 

UKMTO did not provide any details on what caused the explosion. 

Ambrey Intelligence tweets:

"Yesterday at around 20:40 UTC, a vehicles carrier experienced an explosion while underway eastbound in the Gulf of Oman. Ambrey assess the vessel was possibly targeted due to its #Israel Flag of Israel and #UK Flag of United Kingdom affiliations."

Maritime Bulletin believes "HELIOS RAY reportedly suffered an explosion on board in the Gulf of Oman." Current vessel movements show the car carrier has turned around. 

AP News reports the US Navy has been made aware of the incident and closely monitors the situation.