U.S. Navy Searching for Missing Sailor in Arabian Sea – Statement

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. sailor walks on the flight deck of USS Boxer (LHD-4) in the Arabian Sea off Oman July 16, 2019. Picture taken July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

DUBAI, July 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. navy and other ships are conducting search and rescue operations for a missing U.S. sailor in the Arabian Sea, the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet said.

“The Sailor has been listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN) after a reported man overboard incident onboard Abraham Lincoln while operating in the Arabian Sea, July 17,” a Fifth Fleet statement said, without giving the sailor’s name.

A Spanish and a Pakistani navy ship are assisting two U.S. navy ships in the search operation.

Tensions in the Gulf region are currently high, with fears that foes the United States and Iran could stumble into war.

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May on shipping around the Hormuz Strait, the world’s most important oil artery, which Tehran rejects.

Tehran has also accused Britain of piracy and warned of repercussions after Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar on July 4 on suspicion it was shipping oil to Iran‘s ally Syria, in breach of EU sanctions.

(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Toby Chopra)