Union calls for Iran to allow access to crew of detained tanker Stena Impero

19 August 2019

Nautilus has written to the Iranian government asking that the owners of detained UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero, be granted access to the vessel in order to check on the crew.

In his letter to the Iranian consul in London, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson asked that either Stena Bulk, or a representative of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) be allowed on board.

'Our joint purpose is to ensure the health and well-being of the crew and that this matter is resolved in a timely manner in order to avoid any further stress to the seafarers and their families,' Mr Dickinson said.

Stena Impero was seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday 29 July 2019. There are 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality.

After months of increased aggression towards merchant ships in the Gulf of Oman, The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) designated the Strait of Hormuz a Temporary Extended Risk Zone on Tuesday 13 August 2019.

Stena Bulk and the management company Northern Marine Management sent an official letter to the Iranian government requesting access. This request has not yet been approved but the company is being allowed to communicate with the crew via telephone.

Citing the ITF's efforts in securing the release in July of the Iranian-flagged vessel MV Happiness 1, which was being held by Saudi Arabia, Mr Dickinson said: 'We share the ITF's priority for the welfare of the seafarers regardless where they come from and that they can perform their duties without fear due to geopolitical differences.

'Therefore, we urge you to convey your support for the ITF's request that the company and/or the ITF be allowed immediate access to the crew and that the issue be resolved peacefully without undue delay.'