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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Gibraltar News

The seized tanker Stena Impero / image credit: MarineTraffic.com / © Irwin Willemse

Iran Releases Seven Stena Impero Mariners

Iran has released seven of the 23 crew members of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero that was seized earlier this summer, Sweden's foreign minister said on Wednesday.The Swedish-owned Stena Impero was detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on July 19 in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the territory of Gibraltar. That vessel was released in August.Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom…

U.S. Blacklists IRG Oil Shipping Network

The United States on Wednesday sanctioned a sprawling network of firms, ships and individuals allegedly directed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that supplied Syria with oil worth tens of millions of dollars in a breach of U.S. sanctions.The individuals included a former Iranian oil minister and his son, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement. Also hit were subsidiaries of an Indian firm with an interest in the Adrian Darya, the Iranian tanker that has been cruising the Mediterranean since its release from detention by authorities in Gibraltar in July…

Trouble on the high seas: tensions grow over Gulf shipping security

(Photo: ©Carabay / Adobe Stock)

UK highlights Gulf shipping threats

The UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is to call for more international support to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz when he meets his French and German counterparts later today (Friday, August 31) for talks about Iran. Last month, Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait in apparent retaliation for the UK’s seizure in Gibraltar of an Iranian ship accused of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.The UK joined a U.S.-led mission to escort merchant vessels through the Strait of Hormuz at the start of this month but Germany and France declined to take part…

File Image: the former Grace 1 underway (MarineTraffic.com)

Iranian Tanker Deviates from Turkish Destination

Iranian tanker Adrian Darya, at the centre of a dispute between Washington and Tehran, has changed course away from the Turkish coast, Refinitiv ship tracking data showed on Thursday.The tanker, formerly called Grace 1, was released from detention off Gibraltar in mid-August after a five-week standoff over whether it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.A Turkish official told Reuters earlier on Thursday that the Iranian tanker had not entered Turkish waters.

File Image: the former M/T Grace 1 at sea (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Iran: Oil Sold from Tanker Released by Gibraltar

Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel's owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday.Separately, Tehran - embroiled in a spiralling confrontation with Washington over U.S. sanctions meant to strangle Iranian oil exports - announced that it had deployed a naval destroyer with cruise missiles to help secure Iranian ships.The Iranian government spokesman did not identify the recipient of the oil carried by the Adrian Darya tanker.

© vintagepix/AdobeStock

Ships from Venezuela can still transit Panama Canal

The Panama Canal will allow vessels coming from Venezuela to transit the waterway provided they present the necessary paperwork, the canal authority's chief said on Wednesday, suggesting a new round of U.S. sanctions on the South American country may not make any difference to canal traffic.President Donald Trump's administration last week issued an executive order freezing all Venezuelan government assets in the United States. Shortly thereafter, U.S. officials ratcheted up threats against companies that do business with Venezuela.The measure did not explicitly place sanctions on non-U.S.

File Image: The Grace 1 (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Gibraltar: Iran Tanker Release Report Incorrect

A highly placed Gibraltarian government source denied on Tuesday an Iranian news agency report which said the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 would be leaving the British overseas territory on Tuesday.British Royal Marines seized the tanker on July 4 off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria, which Tehran denies.Iran's semi-official Fars news agency quoted unidentified Gibraltar authorities as saying…

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. Photo PIB

Stena Seeks India's Help to Release Ship

Stena Bulk  chief executive and president Erik Hanell wrote to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to personally enter the efforts to secure the release of UK-flagged tanker ship Stena Impero and its primarily Indian crew members, who have been detained in Iran since mid-July.According to media reports, the owner of British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, which was seized by Iran on July 19 with 23 crew, including 18 Indians on board, has appealed to  Modi personally intervene to negotiate with Tehran.The oil tanker Stena Impero was seized by Iran while passing through the Hormuz Strait.

HMS Kent (Image: Royal Navy website)

UK Warship Sails for Gulf Mission

British warship HMS Kent set sail for the Gulf on Monday to join a U.S.-led mission protecting commercial shipping vessels in the region amid heightened political tension between the West and Iran.Britain has joined the United States in a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels.That comes after Iran seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. On July 4 British marines seized an Iranian vessel, which is suspected of smuggling oil to Syria, off the coast of Gibraltar.“Our focus in the Gulf remains firmly one of de-escalating the current tensions…

File Image: AdobeStock / © JJAVA

P&O Cancels Dubai, Gulf Voyages amid Iran Tensions

P&O Cruises has cancelled cruises around Dubai and the Arabian Gulf after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the region.Citing increased tensions, the company said it has cancelled its planned programme in the region from October until at least March next year and all guests be issued a full refund.Last month, Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a British tanker, Stena Impero, near the Strait of Hormuz for alleged marine violations.

File Image of the seized tanker Stena Impero (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Irwin Willemse

Owner: Detention of UK-flag Tanker Unacceptable

The continued detention of British-flagged tanker Stena Impero is "unacceptable and unjustifiable" and there are concerns for the welfare of the crew after 19 days in confinement, the vessel's owner said on Tuesday.Iran's Revolutionary Guards on July 19 seized the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz waterway for alleged marine violations. That came two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions on Syria.Britain has repeatedly…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

U.S.: Ships Should Keep AIS On

The United States wants all ships to keep their tracking transponders on to cut down on illicit activity and smuggling, and to increase transparency with movements of ships around the world, a senior State Department official told Reuters.Automatic identification systems trackers are the most accessible way of observing where ships are located.The practice of turning off AIS by some vessels from countries such as Iran has become common to evade closer scrutiny as the United States pushes to cut off Iranian oil exports.The official…

Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, an allegation that Iran denies. Image Credit: © MarineTraffic.com

INSIGHTS: Noose Tightens Around Iranian Shipping

Somewhere on its journey from the waters off Iran, around Africa's southern tip and into the Mediterranean, the Grace 1 oil tanker lost the flag under which it sailed and ceased to be registered to Panama. Iran later claimed it as its own.The ship carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian crude was seized by British Royal Marines off Gibraltar, raising tensions in the Gulf where Iran detained a UK-flagged ship in retaliation.Grace 1 remains impounded, not because of its flag but because it was suspected of taking oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions…

Logo: Hiscox

New Protection for Seized Shipping

Hiscox, a specialist global insurer, has developed a new security product to help protect shipping targeted by nation states. Malicious Vessel Seizure will respond to a single peril of a ship taken by a foreign government, providing Loss of Hire costs and the services of leading crisis management consultancy – Control Risks.Heightened tension in the Middle East and particularly in the politically sensitive area in and around the Strait of Hormuz recently saw a British flagged tanker boarded by Iranian forces and diverted into Iranian waters.

Britain Seeks to Thwart Iran's 'Piracy'

Britain will seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel in what London said was an act of "state piracy".Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the Stena Impero in the Strait on Friday. British Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks ago."Under international law Iran had no right to obstruct the ship's passage - let alone board her.

File Image of the Stena Impero (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Erwin Willemse

Iran: British-flagged Tanker Seized in Gulf

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route.Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.The Revolutionary…

UK PM to Discuss Grace 1 Tanker with Gibraltar

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with Gibraltar's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo later on Wednesday to discuss the detained Iranian oil tanker Grace 1, a spokesman for May said.The tanker was seized earlier this month by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria.May and Picardo will also discuss Brexit, the spokesman said.Reporting by Elizabeth Piper

File Image: AdobeStock / © Taras

Unarmed Guards Deployed to Navigate Gulf

Shipping companies are hiring unarmed security guards for voyages through the Middle East Gulf as an extra safeguard after a wave of attacks in the region, security companies involved said.Relations between Iran and the West are increasingly strained after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar this month. Britain also said last week that one of its warships had to fend off Iranian vessels seeking to block a UK-owned tanker from passing through the Strait of Hormuz.As the risk of escalation grows…

Civilian Mariner Kevin Sauls, Ship's master aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), observes the Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) during a replenishment-at-sea drill. Guadalupe is conducting operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

Iran Attempts UK Tanker Block, Fails

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.A week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the Strait of Hormuz…

File Image / AdobeStock © Peter Cripps

UK Does Not Want to Escalate Hormuz Tensions

Britain does not intend to escort every British-flagged merchant vessel through the Strait of Hormuz, a security source said on Thursday, after a Royal Navy warship had to stop three Iranian vessels from blocking the passage of a BP-operated tanker.The source said London would be resolute in defending its maritime interests in the Gulf but it does not want to escalate the situation with Iran.Exactly a week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar accused of violating sanctions on Syria…

File Image: A UK Navy warship on patrol (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker

Three Iranian vessels tried to block a BP-operated tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the UK government said on Thursday.Britain urged Iran to "de-escalate the situation in the region" after the British Heritage, a Suezmax oil tanker operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag, was approached."HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels…

File Image: M/T "Grace 1" / credit MarineTraffic.com

Iran: UK Tanker Detention a 'threatening act'

Britain's detention of an Iranian tanker last week was a threatening and incorrect action, Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on Monday in a speech broadcast live on state television.Royal Marines seized the tanker on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions, a dramatic intervention that sparked Tehran’s fury and could escalate its confrontation with the West.Gibraltar received permission from its supreme court to hold the tanker for 14 days…

The Grace 1. Credit: MarineTraffic.com

Panama: Seized Iranian Tanker Removed from Registry

Panama's Maritime Authority said on Thursday that Grace 1, a giant Iranian oil tanker seized by British Royal Marines in Gibraltar, was no longer listed in Panama's international boat registry as of May 29.The Panamanian authority added that Grace 1 had been de-listed after receiving an alert indicating that the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing. Although the tanker flies a Panama flag, Iran claimed ownership and objected to the seizure of its ship. (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Anthony Esposito)

Pic: APM Terminals

MedPort Tangier Opened

APM Terminals Medport Tangier container terminal has officially opened its doors in Morocco.Part of the Tanger Med Port complex, it has an annual capacity of 5 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalents)."With this new capacity, Morocco is establishing itself as one of the most important transshipment locations in the world. Tanger Med Port is already ranked as the leading African port and is amongst the world’s top 50 container ports due to its prime location along key trade lanes and increasing cargo flows…

•	APM Terminals Medport Tangier  (Photo courtesy of Maersk)

TangerMed, Maersk Opens Doors in Morocco

With the new addition of APM Terminals MedPort Tangier, which has a capacity of 5 million TEU’s, Morocco's importance as a transshipment location grows. TangerMed Port is already ranked leading African port and is among the world’s top 50 container ports worldwide given its prime location along key trade lanes and the increasing cargo flow to and from Africa.The construction of APM Terminals MedPort Tangier took two years and a total investment of USD 800m to make this state-of-the-art facility become reality.

Photo: Texas A&M

Sim Centers Prep Grads for High Paying Careers

Few places offer the opportunity to get seasick without ever leaving dry land.Surrounded by moving images on high-definition monitors, students at the prestigious Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston train every day aboard ship simulators. They offer realistic and stomach-turning experiences from the bridges of several types of huge ships as they sail through various kinds of weather conditions and into dozens of ports.Texas A&M’s maritime students earn bachelor’s degrees like other college students…