Saudi’s VLCC tanker attacked by Houthi was in time hole?
After some doubts were expressed about Saudi tankers mysterious attacks in Bab al-Mandeb, several media on Jul 28 published news on these attacks, with, well, details, and some names. Prior to those news, Yemeni media, Iranian media or Houthi media, strongly denied allegations in tankers’ attack, and claimed Yemeni or Houthi forces fired missiles at Saudi Navy frigate, and sank it. http://www.atimes.com/article/did-the-houthis-sink-a-warship-or-hit-an-oil-tanker/
On Jul 28, updates were published by international media, explaining, what exactly took place in Bab al-Mandeb, what tanker(s) was(were) attacked, and how. Those updates and explanations were allegedly, supposed to throw light on the attack, but instead, made the story more confused, than it already was.
Some media (Haaretz) quote information released by unnamed “Washington Institute”, others turned to website called DEBKAfile – “independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service”. Haaretz said, that tanker ARSAN with 2 mil barrels of crude of oil, was hit by missile near Hodeidah, Yemen – which is well into Red sea, it’s not Bab al-Mandeb area.
Others, basing on DEBKA intelligence or whatever, told a different story. There is an Iranian spy ship SAVIZ, flying Italian colors (?), which is spying on Saudi ships, including tankers. SAVIZ spotted hapless tankers, followed them and informed Houthi missile land base on tankers’ course and plotted distances from Yemeni coast, calculating the best attack position. Everything went according to plan, but alas, some missiles missed and fell elsewhere, only one missile managed to hit ARSAN, inflicting a 2-3 meter wide hole in stern area. Missile had powerful enough charge to sank tanker, but somehow, it didn’t explode as it was supposed to, it exploded “partially” (?).
If you think this is the end of story with enough confusion to scratch your head and raise eyebrow, you’re wrong. Now, let’s look at tanker ARSAN and her strange AIS records. She was en route from Ras Tanure, Saudi Arabia, to Sokhna, Egypt, Suez Gulf, Red sea. Several AIS websites followed her until Jul 22, and starting from Jul 22, AIS records are missing. Latest available AIS records are dated Jul 22, positioning her on Bab al-Mandeb approaches in Gulf of Aden, at 12 knots speed. She was actually, entering the Strait. It was, repeat, Jul 22.
Tanker was allegedly attacked on Jul 26, allegedly in Bab al-Mandeb Strait. It could be possible only on the assumption, that the tanker fell into a time hole, went into another universe, and came back on Jul 26, in about the same place she was four days ago.
IMRRA, FleetMon’s official Vessel Risk Rating Partner, risk assessed this tanker as having a ‘green’ risk rating, with a specific risk rating of 29% (10-JAN-18), compared to the fleet average 34.8%. New risk assessment reports can be purchased via FleetMon.
Red: Poorest performing; Amber: Average value; Green: Good indicator.