Iranian authorities have reported the rescue of 21 crew members from a capsized tanker in the Middle East Gulf.

Economy Next cited the country’s maritime authority head, Mohammad Amin Amani, as telling broadcaster PressTV that its vessels picked up the Sri Lankan seafarers from an unnamed Cook Islands-flagged ship.

He said the vessel was foundering 50 km off the port of Bandar-e-Jask in a storm.

The date of the rescue was not given.

“Jask’s rescue and relief vessel was dispatched to the area and saved the 21 crew of the foreign ship,” Amani added.

“Five people who needed medical attention” were treated by Jask emergency services “and the physical condition of these sailors is good”, he added.

The tanker was reported to have been carrying oil at the time, but its size is not known.

Storms have hit the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, a key energy transport corridor with Bandar-e-Jask at its eastern tip, Iranian media have reported.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have reported flooding from storms in the past few days.

Laden with oil

The official Iranian IRNA news agency said the tanker had capsized, while other reports said the ship had been sinking.

Iran has been firmly in the spotlight since its forces seized the MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company-managed, operated and chartered container ship MSC Aries at the weekend.

TankerTrackers said it was able to locate the 15,000-teu Zodiac Maritime-affiliated ship (built 2020) between the islands of Qeshm and Hormuz.

The vessel was the latest to be caught up in a series of tit-for-tat seizures linked either to US actions over Iranian oil or the wider Middle East tensions centred on the Gaza war.

It has been anchored near three seized foreign tankers.

These are Advantage Tankers’ 158,500-dwt suezmax Advantage Sweet (built 2012), the Altomare-owned 309,000-dwt VLCC Niovi (built 2005) and Empire Navigation’s 159,000-dwt suezmax St Nikolas (built 2011).

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