Crew Members of Attacked Norwegian-Owned Tanker Now in Dubai


NICOSIA, Cyprus — Crew members of the Norwegian-owned oil tanker that was attacked in the Gulf of Oman landed Saturday in Dubai after two days in Iran.

Associated Press journalists saw the crew members of the MT Front Altair after their Iran Air flight from Bandar Abbas, Iran, landed in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The Front Altair caught fire after the attack Thursday, sending a thick cloud of black smoke visible even by satellite from space.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for the attack, saying they suspect another limpet mine attack on oil tankers by Iran. Tehran has denied being involved and accused America of promoting an “Iranophobic” campaign against it.

The suspected attacks occurred at dawn Thursday about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the southern coast of Iran. The Front Altair, loaded with naphtha from the United Arab Emirates, radioed for help as its cargo of flammable chemicals caught fire. The Kokuka Courageous, carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, called for help a short time later.

The U.S. Navy sent the USS Bainbridge, which picked up 21 mariners from the Kokuka Courageous, and they stayed overnight on the destroyer, returning to their vessel Friday to help in it being towed.

Iran ended up taking the 23 mariners from the Front Altair. They initially ended up in the port city of Jask before being taken to Bandar Abbas. Its crew is comprised of 11 Russian, 11 Filipinos and one Georgian.