Kuwaiti Tanker Nears Strait of Hormuz

From Times Wire Services

A Kuwaiti tanker loaded with volatile cargo and escorted by two U.S. Navy warships on high alert approached the Strait of Hormuz late Sunday, where Iran said it would hold "martyrdom" maneuvers this week.

The 46,732-ton Gas Prince left Kuwait on Saturday loaded with liquefied petroleum gas and was joined by its American escorts. The convoy passed without incident through Persian Gulf waters west of Iran's Farsi Island where the Bridgeton, another Kuwaiti vessel reflagged as an American vessel, hit a mine July 24.

The missile destroyer Kidd and missile frigate Crommelin were escorting the Gas Prince through the dangerous waters.

The ship was escorted from Kuwait as part of a Reagan Administration initiative to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway, a main theater in the nearly seven-year-old Iran-Iraq War.

In Washington, the Navy confirmed the departure of the Raleigh, an amphibious ship capable of transporting troops and heavy equipment, from its Norfolk Naval base on Saturday night. Press reports said it was bound for the gulf region.

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