Posted on July 24, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The owners of the Stena Impero, the UK-flagged Oil Tanker that was seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz on June the 19th, have denied allegations of a collision involving their vessel.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard boarded the vessel, on the basis that the Stena Impero was involved in a collision with an Iranian fishing boat.
Allegedly, following the collision with the Iranian vessel, the Impero refused to respond to the ship’s distress call.
Iran claims that the Impero then proceeded to turn off its AIS tracker and refused to acknowledge repeat warnings issued by the IRGC.
However, Swedish-based shipowner, Stena Bulk, issued a statement on July the 23rd, rejecting Iran’s version of events.
“Stena Bulk and managers, Northern Marine Management, would like to emphasise that all necessary notifications to relevant authorities and organisations were made for the Stena Impero’s transit of the Strait of Hormuz, which was carried out in full compliance with all international maritime regulations.
“At the time of the seizure, the vessel was within the inbound traffic separation scheme and out-with Iranian territorial waters with all required navigational equipment, including transponders, fully functioning, in compliance with maritime regulations.
“We can confirm that we are not aware of, and nor is there any evidence of a collision involving the Stena Impero,” reads the statement from the company.
Since then, UK has warned British-flagged ships to avoid transiting through the Strait of Hormuz.
Understandably, following the seizure of the Impero, most British vessels have avoided the Gulf of Oman.
The only UK-flagged vessel, similar in build and type to the Impero, to pass through the Strait of Hormuz in recent days was the BW Elm, reportedly under the supervision of the Royal Navy Frigate, HMS Montrose.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic