At around 16h00 GMT, on 19 July, UK-registered vessel Stena Impero was accosted by unidentified crafts and a helicopter in a transit in international waters through the Strait of Hormuz. Soon after, both vessel owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management, lost direct contact with the vessel.
It is now understood that the UK product tanker is currently being held by the Iranian authorities at anchor just off Bandar Abbas. The 23 crew members were also taken off the ship for questioning, according to Iran’s Press TV.
“It is unacceptable that both seafarers and the ship were put in a situation where they could not operate in complete safety and security. ECSA is calling upon the Iranian authorities to ensure that the welfare of the seafarers is guaranteed and that the fundamental principle of freedom of navigation is respected,” said Martin Dorsman, ECSA’s Secretary-General.
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