Ship owner, Filipino crew contradict U.S. account of attack on tanker
TOKYO — The Japanese owner and the Filipino crew of a tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman offered a different account of the nature of the attack than that provided by the United States.
Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, said the Filipino crew of the Kokuka Courageous tanker thought their vessel was hit by flying objects rather than a mine, according to the Washington Post.
“The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel,” he told reporters. “Then some crew witnessed a second shot.”
The United States said the tanker was attacked by limpet mines and released a video that it said showed men aboard an Iranian boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships.
But Katada offered an alternative version of how the events unfolded.
“To put a bomb on the side is not something we are thinking,” he said. “If it’s between an explosion and a penetrating bullet, I have a feeling it is a penetrating bullet. If it was an explosion, there would be damage in different places, but this is just an assumption or a guess.”