U.K.-interest ships told to avoid Strait of Hormuz

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Iranian state controlled Press TV screened video showing IRGC personnel being landed on Stena Impero

As Iran continued to detain the Swedish-owned, U.K.-registered tanker Stena Impero, MARAD issued a Maritime Alert advising U.S.-flag ships to exercise caution when transiting the Strait of Hormuz area

Meantime, President and Chief Executive of Stena Bulk, Erik Hanell, said yesterday: “I can confirm a formal request for permission to visit the 23 crew members of the Stena Impero has been made to the authorities at the Port of Bandar Abbas.

“The request has been acknowledged, but we await a formal response. In the meantime, we will continue to co-operate and liaise with all appropriate authorities.

Hanell added: “All of Stena Bulk and Northern Marine Management’s efforts and focus continue to be on the welfare and safe return of our crew and supporting their families during this very difficult time.

“Our local staff in India, Latvia, Philippines, Russia are in constant touch with the families and we will continue to do everything humanly possible to keep them informed and to support them in every way we can.”

U.K. INTEREST SHIPS TOLD TO AVOID STRAIT OF HORMUZ AREA

London based maritime security consultancy Dryad Global reports that the U.K. government has called for all U.K. interest vessels to “avoid the area for the time being.”

Dryad is the recommending that all U.K.-flagged, managed or owned vessels avoid transits of the Persian Gulf, unless a naval convoy can be guaranteed. “Vessels must also consider that naval convoy is not a guaranteed failsafe against interception,” says Dryad, “as U.K. naval vessels will not have authority for use of lethal force in the absence of immediate threat to life.”

In the interests of business continuity, charterers and technical managers are advised to consider the chartering of non-U.K connected vessels in the medium to long term. It is the assessment of Dryad that Chinese-flagged vessels currently represent the lowest risk of interruption within the Strait of Hormuz, and are highly unlikely to experience any form of disruption by way of detention.

All U.K. vessel owners are advised to consider the relocation of all U.K. interest vessels from the Persian Gulf when safe to do so, and to remain mindful of the limitations of naval protection, says Dryad..

MARAD ADVISORY

A maritime threat has been reported in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz in positions 26-25N 056-21E and 26-02N 054-58E on July 19, 2019. Two vessels, United Kingdom and Liberian flagged, were harassed, boarded, and possibly seized by Iranian military personnel in these reported positions. These reports have been confirmed. Exercise caution when transiting this area. Vessels operating in this area are advised to review U.S. Maritime Advisories 2019-004 (Naval Activity – Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea) and 2019-008 (Threats to U.S. and International Shipping from Iran – Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea). Further updates will be provided when available. This alert will automatically expire on July 26, 2019. Any maritime industry questions regarding this alert should be directed to [email protected]

For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit http://www.marad.dot.gov/MSCI.
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