PortandTerminal.com, August 9, 2020
DUBAI – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) recently set up a replica of a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz and used it as a target for missile attacks and swarming tactics.
It was meant to deliver strong “this could be you if you mess with us” message to the United States Navy.
Last month during its annual “Great Prophet 14” naval exercises they sank the carrier. The carrier itself is really just an elaborate target barge and is not intended to sink. It is meant to be reusable and has been symbolically ‘destroyed’ twice already during similar target practice/sabre rattling exercises.
This time the Iranians really goofed. The sunken wooden carrier is lying partly submerged in 45 feet of water at the entrance to the Port of Bandar Abbas and has become a major navigational hazard for shipping.
H.I. Sutton notes in an excellent recent article he wrote for Forbes:
“The wreck is in waterways that are heavily trafficked by passenger ferries, tankers and enormous ‘bulk carrier’ merchant ships. A recent satellite image, shared by Aurora Intel, shows just how close some of these massive ships are getting to it. It is a self-own of epic proportions.”
Look at the satellite image below shared by Aurora Intel to get a sense of just what a hazard the partially sunken carrier has become. Making matters worse is that the wreck is reportedly not marked with any navigational buoys.
“An accident waiting to happen.”
Sutton spoke with Paul Edward Roche, former president of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners, who told him that the wreck “poses a distinct risk to commercial shipping approaching or leaving by the Straits of Hormuz because it is located east of the port approach.”
In Roche’s professional opinion it is “an accident waiting to happen.”
Read Sutton’s complete summary of the hazard that this Iranian “own goal” poses to both Iran and the rest of the maritime community by clicking here.
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