Taipei, June 13 (CNA) A chartered tanker that was making a delivery to Taiwan's state-run oil refiner CPC Corp. was attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday and the 23 crew members had to be rescued, the company has confirmed.
The Front Altair, which was carrying petrochemical products, was allegedly hit by unknown object from an unidentified source in the gulf near the United Arab Emirates, CPC spokesman Chen Ming-hui (陳明輝) said in a press release.
The tanker, chartered by CPC supplier Ocean Energy, caught fire and the 23 non-Taiwanese crew members were rescued by another cargo ship in the area, the Hyundai Dubai, which is registered in the Marshall Islands, according to the press release.
The damage to the Front Altair, which is also registered in the Marshall Islands, and its cargo was still being assessed, CPC said, adding that the incident would not affect its domestic fuel supply.
The Front Altair departed Ruwais Port in the UAE on June 11, carrying 75,000 tons of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock for diluting heavy crude oil, for delivery to CPC, Chen said.
According to foreign media reports, the Front Altair and another oil tanker, the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous, were attacked sometime between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time in the Gulf of Oman.
In one Reuters report, another CPC spokesman Wu I-fang was quoted as saying that the Front Altair was "suspected of being hit by a torpedo," while other unconfirmed reports mentioned a mine attack.
The Front Altair was due to arrive in Kaohsiung port on June 30, according to the website MarineTraffic, which provides real-time information on the movements of ships.