Tehran, Iran – The Iranian navy’s largest ship caught fire and sank in obscure conditions in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday, according to half-news reports. Attempts to rescue the support ship Cork have failed, according to Force and Tasnim news agencies. The island is Iran’s main oil terminal.
The blaze broke out at 2:25 a.m. As firefighters tried to contain it, state television said. The ship sank near the Iranian port of Jask, about 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran in the Gulf of Oman, near the Strait of Hormuz – the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Photos of sailors wearing life jackets setting fire to the back of the ship were circulated on Iranian social media. State television and semi-news outlets refer to Cork as a “training ship”.
Of the few ships in the Iranian navy, Cork has the capability to fill its other vessels at sea. It will also serve as a launch pad for helicopters carrying heavy cargo. The ship, built in Britain and launched in 1977, entered the Iranian navy in 1984, following lengthy negotiations following Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The sinking of Cork marks the latest naval disaster for Iran. During an Iranian military exercise in 2020, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel near the port of Jask, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others. Also in 2018, the Iranian naval destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.