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VIDEO: U.S. Navy P-8A Looking for Crew of Burning Iranian Tanker

MT Sanchi burning off the coast of China after a Jan. 6 collision. South Korean Coast Guard Photo

The U.S. Navy sent a P-8A aircraft to assist the international search and rescue effort in the East China Sea following a Saturday collision between two commercial vessels.

The Chinese-flagged cargo ship CF Crystal collided with an Iranian-flagged tanker MV Sanchi early in the morning Saturday. The collision occurred about 6 p.m. local time, according to news reports. Crystal, carrying grain to China, reportedly suffered minor damage. Sanchi, transporting about a million barrels of light crude oil to South Korea from Iran, was engulfed in flames and 32 crew members were reported missing, according to a Navy statement.

The Navy P-8A sent to assist the search and rescue is attached to the ‘Fighting Tigers’ of Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8), at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The aircraft seared an area of about 3,600 nautical miles before returning to base, according to a Navy statement.

As of Monday, the Navy had not received any additional requests for help from the Chinese government, which is leading the search and rescue efforts, a Navy spokesperson told USNI News.

  • publius_maximus_III

    I wonder if the Iranian-flagged tanker was really headed for SOUTH Korea.

    • waveshaper1

      South Korea is one of Iran’s main Asian clients (since the sanctions against Iran were lifted) so it should come as no surprise to folks if its destination was the ROK.

      Excerpt from Reuters;

      South Korea’s March imports from Iran more than doubled from a year ago to a record 18.54 million barrels, or 597,935 barrels per day (bpd), data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) showed on Monday.

      For the January-March period of 2017, Iran seized the No.2 spot with shipments of 46.73 million barrels, also more than double from the same period last year and the highest on record for a quarter.

      “South Korea couldn’t bring crude from Iran for a while because of sanctions though it used a lot of Iranian crude in the past. But now as the sanctions are lifted … crude from Iran will keep flowing,” Kim Jae-kyung, research fellow at state-run Korea Energy Economics Institute, said on Tuesday.

      • publius_maximus_III

        Roger that. Thanks.

  • What the f..k

    Whenever a ‘crisis’ arises, anywhere in the world, the President will always ask “where are the Littoral Combat ships?” LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • Kenneth Millstein

    Just yesterday a proposal to remove the $.09 a gallon oil tax was taken by the President. It serves the purpose of collecting enough funds to clean up an oil spill anywhere within US oil drilling waters. After an event like this as well as the Deep Water Horizon spill in 2010 why would the government not want a fund to help with the cleanup in the event of a spill. As I understand it the current fund amount is approximately $500 million. A lot more than that would be required to clean up a spill of such a massive size as the one in the case of the Exxon Valdez. I hope after viewing the footage of the current potential damage to the ecosystem that the Federal Government leaves the tax in place. Also, it should be known that the government has granted several more oil drilling leases around the coastal United States.

    • waveshaper1

      – How much US Taxpayer money was spent on the Exxon Valdez oil spill/cleanup/restoration/etc (10.8 million gallons of oil spilled)?

      – How much US Taxpayer money was spent on the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill/cleanup/restoration/etc (210 million gallons of oil spilled)?

      – See “Oil Pollution Act of 1990” for more details.

      • Kenneth Millstein

        The thrust of my comment was actually why is the Federal Government interested in lowering the amount of money that may be needed in the event of a very large spill.

        • Donald Carey

          The U.S. used nearly 300 BILLION gallons of oil in 2016. At $0.09 per gallon, that’s about 27 Billion dollars….where oh where has it all gone?

          • Kenneth Millstein

            That’s a good question. It could be that it was spent.Your guess is as good as mine. I first heard about this fund on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC and she was the one that brought this situation to the public. She stated that the fund balance is about $500 million. However, I think I misquoted the amount per gallon. The correct amount I believe is $.07 per gallon So Sorry!