The Japanese owner of the Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, said Friday that sailors on board saw “flying objects” just before it was hit, suggesting the vessel wasn’t damaged by mines.
That account contradicts what the U.S. military said as it released a video Friday it said shows Iranian forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the two ships that were hit.
The Japanese tanker was attacked twice Thursday, damaging the vessel and forcing all 21 crew members to evacuate.
Company president Yutaka Katada said Friday he believes the flying objects seen by the sailors could have been bullets. He denied any possibility of mines or torpedoes because the damage was above the ship’s waterline. He called reports of a mine attack “false.”
Katada said the crew members also spotted an Iranian naval ship nearby, but didn’t specify