Crew of Asphalt Princess Tanker Reportedly Thwarts Hijack Attempt in Gulf of Oman
18:31 GMT 04.08.2021 (Updated: 18:39 GMT 04.08.2021)
© REUTERS / KEVIN D.MAJEWSKIA handout image shows the Thalassa Desgagnes tanker, now called the Asphalt Princess, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada June 19, 2016.
© REUTERS / KEVIN D.MAJEWSKI
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The crew of the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess tanker in the Gulf of Oman has managed to foil a hijacking by sabotaging the engines, the Times reported on Wednesday, citing British government sources.
Media reported earlier in the day that a group of Iranians boarded the vessel. In the alleged recording of communications between Asphalt Princess and the UAE coastguard, a crew member said that there were five or six Iranians on board, according to the London-based Argus Media.
"Armed Iranians stormed the vessel ... and tried to take it back to Iran but the crew scuppered the engines, so that is why it was shown bobbing in the water. Then US and Omani warships turned up and the Iranians got into some boats and went off," the source told The Times, adding that the crew were safe.
The Iranian embassy in the United Kingdom has said that Iran had no confirmation of any new incidents in the Gulf of Oman.
Less than a week before the Asphalt Princess incident, an Israel-managed oil tanker was subjected to a drone attack off Oman, which resulted in the death of two security guards. Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States all levelled charges against Tehran.
Iran dismissed allegations of its involvement in the incidents, saying that "no shred" of evidence has been presented.