On November 15, 2022, at approximately 10:00 p.m., an oil tanker was hit with an Iranian drone off the coast of Oman. Minor damage to the Pacific Zircon was reported by numerous news outlets. There were no injuries to personnel aboard the Pacific Zircon and there no reports of oil spills or water ingress into the ship.
A similar incident occurred with the oil tanker Mercer Street, transiting international waters off the coast of Oman in July 2021. The July 2021 attack hit the top of the oil tanker’s bridge where the vessel is commanded, killing two crew members.
The exploitation of evidence collected from the Mercer Street by United States Navy (USN) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians from the USS Ronald Reagan revealed that the debris was consistent with previously exploited and known Iranian one-way attack “kamikaze” drones.
In an August 6, 2021, press release regarding the attack on the Mercer Street, U.S. Central Command stated that the ship was targeted by three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), two unsuccessful attacks on July 29, 2021, and one successful attack on July 30, 2021, that killed the master of the ship, a Romanian Citizen, and a United Kingdom national who was part of the security detail.
Detailed photographs and forensic analysis regarding the attack against Mercer Street were released by U.S. Central Command in August 2021, and are available here.