Tanker Fire in Gulf of Oman

There is talk of an attack as two tankers are aflame in the Bay of Oman. Norwegian owned Front Altair is said to be one of them. Scuttlebutt has it as a torpedo attack, but reports are hazy and still coming in. The only picture I could find was on Seatrade.

I am receiving emails from Securewest stating that it was a torpedo attack on a Norwegian owned tanker. It is about to go from cold to hot in the Persian Gulf.


I wonder if they mean torpedoes as in “self propelled submarine munitions”, “sea mine” or just “something bad”. The only reason to use a modern torpedo would be to start a shooting war, and I can’t see that being in the interest of our usual suspects. Still, things look to be cooking off down there.

The owners deny speculation that the Front Altair has sunk, and the Norwegian Maritime Directorate have published an advisory to stay well clear of Iranian waters. More detail plus a closer picture in this Norwegian article on NRK.


It is getting busy over there. The methanol tanker Kokuka Courageous was damaged to the starboard hull in what is called a security incident. The crew of 21 abandoned the ship and went into the lifeboat. They were picked up by the Dutch pusher/tug Coastal Ace, a rather smallish contraption of 26.48m x 11m.


And an attack on Abha International in SA yesterday:

More imagery from the article posted above, now updated.


It appears the crew aboard the Front Altair were of the opinion “we don’t get paid for this shit”, and headed for the boats. I know this is armchair quarterbacking but…I have to wonder why they didn’t at least set up their fire monitors or hoses to allow for some degree of boundary cooling before evacuating.

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Monty Python tactics perhaps seemed best.
“Run Away Run Away”

There was a saying in the USN that the difference between a fire in your house and a fire on your ship is that you could run away from the fire in your house.

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Maybe you just had to be there …

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I have to agree. After what must have been a very loud explosion, I would have played it safe and assumed there might be more coming. Warship sailors are trained to go into damage control mode but civilians, not so much.


Three explosions, they say now. If you look at the flyby video, you see the starboard side of the superstructure blackened by soot, and the paint burned off the freeboard from the hull breach and aft. It must have been somewhat unpleasant.

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Not a bad idea to hop on the square tugboat then! Yikes!

It is now being reported that the Navy has found an un-exploded limpet mine attached to the side of one of the damaged tankers. Very glad the crews escaped when they did!

If I were under attack by torpedos I’m not sure I’d stick around the fight that fire either

The smoke from that tanker fire has the scent of a tail wagging a dog in the Gulf of Tonkin.


Will we see a return to reflagging FOC ships to US flag with assumedly US crews? Anyone willing to go man a crude oil tanker in this region?

What is your recommendation as to how to/if we should respond to this?

15 or 20 more pallets of U.S. dollars dropped off on the runway…