On Tuesday, a “incident” was registered in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, with preliminary reports suggesting that an oil tanker was struck.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it was “aware of reports of an incident” near the port city of Yanbu on Saudi Arabia’s western coast.
On Tuesday morning, a booby-trapped remote-controlled boat was intercepted and destroyed by the Saudi military near Yanbu, the Saudi Defense Ministry announced shortly after the first reports on the alleged oil tanker incident were reported. The Defense Ministry added that it is investigating who was behind the attempted attack.
It is unclear if the reported incident was connected to the interception of the booby-trapped boat.
The vessel involved in the incident reported later on Tuesday was at first believed to be the NCC DAMMAM, which was last seen in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia, south of Yanbu, but the CEO of the company which owns the DAMMAM stated that it was not involved in an incident, according to Dryad Global, a maritime security risk management company.
For a few hours, the DAMMAM has been identified as “not under command,” implying that the vessel is unable to navigate.
The findings follow a string of accidents involving Iranian, Israeli, and American vessels in the waters off the Arabian Peninsula.
Earlier on Tuesday, the US Navy told The Wall Street Journal that two US Coast Guard vessels were harassed by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps boats in the southern Persian Gulf on April 2.
Earlier this month, the IRGC ship Saviz was allegedly struck by a suspected Israeli strike in the Red Sea.