Middle EastOperations

Car carrier suffers multiple explosions, makes for Dubai

A car carrier that suffered a series of explosions off Muscat on Friday docked in Dubai yesterday with top Israeli politicians suggesting Iran was responsible for the incident.

The Helios Ray car carrier is now docked at Dubai’s Port Rashid. The ship is owned by Helios, an Israeli company registered in the Isle of Man. It was bound for Singapore having picked up cars in Saudi Arabia when the explosions occurred, forcing it to head back towards Dubai. Photos (see below) collated by security consultants Ambrey Intelligence show plenty of damage below deck.

Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday: “The location of the ship in relative close proximity to Iran raises the belief that Iran was responsible, but it must still be verified.”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast on Monday that Iran was behind the explosion.

“This is indeed an action by Iran, it is clear,” the prime minister told the Kan public broadcaster today.

Iran responded to Netanyahu’s statement saying it “strongly rejected” the accusation that it was behind the attack. 

Shipping has been hit by a string of explosions in or near the Strait of Hormuz over the past two years.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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