Iran Seizes British Oil Tanker and this ain’t no rusty hulk

The British flagged ‘Stena Impero’ has taken a very sudden turn into Iranian waters despite her original destination being Saudi Arabia, according to data relayed by maritime tracking services.

The vessel is now apparently heading to Qeshm in Iran but had been originally sailing towards Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia. It now appears that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have confirmed this news.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards claim to have seized a British oil tanker, the Stena Impero, which suddenly veered off course and headed into Iranian waters.

The ship’s owners issued a statement saying it had been “approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters.”

“We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran,” the owners, Stena Bulk, and the ship’s managers, Northern Marine, said in the statement.

Oil/Chemical Tanker Oil/Chemical Tanker
IMO: 9797400

Position Received: 1 hour, 48 minutes ago (2019-07-19 16:29 (UTC))
Vessel’s Local Time: 2019-07-19 20:29 (UTC +4)
Area: AG – Persian Gulf
Latitude / Longitude: 26.76833° / 56.28255°
Status:Underway Using Engine
Speed/Course: 13.9kn / 308°

MMSI: 232010294
Call Sign: MBPR5
Flag: United Kingdom [GB]
AIS Vessel Type: Tanker – Hazard B
Gross Tonnage: 29579
Deadweight: 49683 t
Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 183m × 32m
Year Built: 2018
Status: Active