Targeted Iranian Tanker Plugged as it Heads for Gulf, Iran Says

The Iranian-owned Sabiti oil tanker is seen sailing in the Red Sea

An undated picture shows the Iranian-owned Sabiti oil tanker sailing in the Red Sea. National Iranian Oil Tanker Company via WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS 

DUBAI, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Leakage of cargo from an Iranian-owned oil tanker apparently hit by missiles in Red Sea waters off Saudi Arabia has been stopped as it heads for the Gulf, the semi-official Iranian news agency Mehr reported on Saturday.

The tanker Sabiti was targeted on Friday, Iranian media reported earlier, an incident that if confirmed will stoke friction in a region rattled by attacks on tankers and oil installations since May.

“The tanker is heading for Persian Gulf waters and we hope it will enter Iranian waters safely,” Mehr quoted an unnamed official as saying. “The cargo leakage has stopped.”

Holidaymakers forced to abandon their cruise ship after it collides with oil tanker off the coast of Turkey leaving huge dent in hull.

  • Celestyal Crystal cruise liner collided with tanker STI Pimlico on Saturday 
  • More than 850 passengers on board evacuated by sea boat to Gallipoli
  • Two crew members and a passenger suffered minor injuries in incident
  • Emergency services moved quickly to stop a fire from the oil tanker 

More than 850 passengers had to be evacuated after their Mediterranean cruise ship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Turkey, leaving a huge dent in its hull.

Authorities said a huge disaster was averted after emergency service quickly responded to reports that the Celestyal Crystal and the tanker STI Pimlico had crashed at 1.30am on Saturday morning in the Dardanelles Strait.

Cruise operators said two crew members and a passenger suffered minor injuries in the accident as the vessel, registered to Malta, made its way from Greece to Istanbul.

All of its 853 passengers and 382 staff were taken to safety by a sea bus to Gallipoil, and the rest of their journey was cancelled while structural damage to the front of the ship is being fixed.


Damage: The hull of the Celestyal Crystal was badly damaged after the incident at 1.30am on Saturday

Emergency services moved quickly to douse the tanker in water to prevent a fire or explosion after fuel spilled out of the 182-metre long tanker, which had been travelling from Russia to Malta carrying flammable naptha fuel.

It has not yet been established how the collision took place.

A statement from the cruise line published on travel website www.cruisecritic.co.uk said Celestyal Cruises, which operates the ship, will arrange for passengers to continue their holidays on other boats.

It has also offered full refunds for holidaymakers’ cruise fares as well as second, complimentary seven-night cruises

Spill: Emergency services working quickly to stop a fire or explosion when oil poured out of the tanker 
Spill: Emergency services working quickly to stop a fire or explosion when oil poured out of the tanker 

‘With the safety and care of our passengers as our utmost priority, we will ensure the smoothest possible disembarkation for those on board since the current cruise will have to be cancelled’, it said.

‘We apologize for the inconvenience and would like to assure that we will spare no effort in ensuring that our passengers are provided with the best hospitality under the circumstances.’

Mayor of Çanakkale, Ahmet Çınar, told Turkish television channel NTV a huge disaster was prevented just in time and potential danger has been minimized thanks to ‘intensive’ work by emergency crews, the Daily Sabah reported.

Ferry services along the Strait were cancelled for several hours during the clean-up operation.