No US, coalition vessels near Japan tanker: US Navy

A Japanese supertanker was damaged near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Dubai: There were no US Navy or maritime coalition vessels near a Japanese supertanker damaged in an incident in the Strait of Hormuz, a Fifth Fleet spokesman said on Thursday.

Asked if there were any US Navy or coalition vessels close to the supertanker at the time, he said: "No, there were none close to the ship ... none of our vessels were involved."

He was speaking by telephone from Bahrain.

Meanwhile, a Japanese supertanker damaged near the strategic Strait of Hormuz was involved in a collision, but the cause was unknown, a Fujairah ports official said on Thursday.

"What we know is some collision happened. We don`t know what it was," Captain Mousa Mourad told a news conference.

Japanese shipper Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd said it had hired a specialist on military attacks to help investigate unexplained damage to its vessel the M Star.

It was damaged early Wednesday while travelling from Qatar with a cargo of crude for Japan.

A photograph of the damage released on Thursday showed a big dent in the side of the tanker.

Bureau Report