Iran's largest warship sinks after catching fire in Gulf of Oman

The Kharg, 680-foot fleet replenishment oiler,  had been deployed for training operations near Iran's port of Jask when the fire erupted.

Iran's largest warship sinks after catching fire in Gulf of Oman, Source: Iranian media
Iran's largest warship sinks after catching fire in Gulf of Oman, Source: Iranian media

Iran's largest navy ship, known as The Kharg, sank after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman early on June 2, 2021. 

According to Iranian media, the fire broke out at around 2.25 am during a training mission when the ship was near the port of Jask, which is a major shipping lane.

Fortunately, there are no casualties as the entire crew of the ship was able to escape the wreck and was taken to safety on the coast. 

How did the fire break out?

No reason has been given for the fire yet. Though officials tried to put out the fire for over 20 hours but to no avail as the flames spread to different parts of the ship. 

What exactly happened?

• The 680-foot fleet replenishment oiler Kharg had been deployed for training operations when the fire erupted.

• The Iranian Navy stated that the military vessel was in international waters for a training mission when "one of its systems" caught fire.

• The ship was at the time near Iran's port of Jask, which is located to the southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman, near the Strait of Hormuz.

• Though the military and civilian crews battled the fire for hours but all efforts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful and it sank. 

• The ship had on board around 400 crew members, all of whom were able to escape the ship. Around 33 people were injured but no fatalities, as per Iranian media. 

• The incident is currently under investigation. 

The Kharg

• The Kharg was Iran's largest naval vessel by tonnage and one of a very limited number of replenishment ships in the Iranian navy.

• It was built in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. 

• The ship had been in service for almost four decades before it sank. 

• It was one of the few vessels in the Iranian navy that was capable of providing replenishment at sea for its other ships.

• The ship was also able to lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters.

Mysterious Attacks at Sea

• The Kharg is the latest casualty in a series of disasters that have struck the Iranian Navy over the past couple of years. 

• In 2020, an Iranian guided-missile frigate had accidentally fired a missile at one of its own ships, a support ship called Konarak, killing 19 sailors onboard and injuring a number of others near the Port of Jask.

• In January 2018, Iran's giant homegrown destroyer Damavand fully sank into the Caspian Sea after suffering damages while docking at Iran's Anzali Port during stormy weather. Two crew members had died in the incident. 

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