The 23 crew members of a British-flagged oil tanker are being held by Iran after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seized the Swedish-owned Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz. Nautilus International and the ITF issued a joint statement raising serious concerns over the tanker’s seizure, which comes as tensions between Iran and Western nations have escalated. The Gibraltar authorities recently detained the Panama-flagged, United Arab Emirates-owned Grace 1 supertanker after it was boarded by British Royal Marines on suspicion that it had busted European Union (EU) sanctions against Syria.
Nautilus and the ITF have called for a diplomatic resolution to the situation and de-escalation of tensions in the region. The crew of the Stena Impero come from India, Russia, Latvia and the Philippines.
ITF Seafarers’ Section chair David Heindel said: “Seafarers are concerned about the risk to their safety. It’s essential that the maritime industry and governments work collectively to guarantee safe passage and defuse conflict in such a vital region.”