The U.S. Navy said one of its guided-missile destroyers collided with an oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
The collision between USS Porter and the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan occurred at about 1 a.m. local time, Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Lieutenant Greg Raelson said in a phone interview today. The collision was not combat-related and overall damage to the ship is being evaluated, he said.
The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway carrying a fifth of the world’s traded oil that Iranian officials have threatened to block in retaliation for sanctions targeting the country’s nuclear program. The U.S. Navy has said it would move to stop any Iranian attempt block the waterway.
The tanker, owned by Tokyo-based Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., can hold 2 million barrels of crude oil and is 95 percent full, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The vessel loaded at Mesaieed in Qatar and was sailing to Fujairah, the region’s largest refueling port in the United Arab Emirates, the data show.
“We have had no reports of any spills or leakage,” 5th Fleet’s Raelson said.