Stena Bulk Waiting Permission to Visit Stena Impero’s Crew

Stena Bulk, the owner of the recently seized Stena Impero, said that it is still waiting for a formal permission to visit the ship’s crew members in the Port of Bandar Abbas.

President and Chief Executive of Stena Bulk, Erik Hanell, said that the company submitted “a formal request for permission” to the authorities at the port to visit the 23 crew members of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality.

“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.”

The British-flagged, Swedish-owned oil tanker was seized while transiting the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 for “breaching international maritime law”, according to a report from Tehran-based Press TV.

The 46,575 cbm Stena Impero allegedly turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) before being boarded by armed guards. Additionally, the tanker reportedly failed to respond to a distress call sent by an Iranian fishing boat.

A second oil tanker, managed by Norbulk Shipping UK, was boarded by Iranian armed personnel on Friday. The 315,000 dwt Mesdar was instructed to head north towards Iran but it was soon cleared to resume its voyage.

“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,” Hanell added.

“Our insurers in the region have been in contact with the Head of Marine Affairs at the Port of Bandar Abbas, who has reported that the crew members of our vessel Stena Impero are in ‘good health’ and that the tanker is at the nearby Bandar Bahonar anchorage.”

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