Iranian court orders seizure of tanker following collision with Iranian vessel
Iran has announced that it had obtained a court order to seize a tanker involved in a collision with an Iranian vessel in the Gulf waters. The tanker in question, named Richmond Voyager and flying the flag of the Bahamas, collided with an Iranian ship carrying seven crew members. The collision resulted in injuries to five individuals and caused flooding on board the Iranian vessel. The Maritime Search and Rescue Center of Iran’s Hormozgan Province conveyed this information to the official IRINN news agency.
According to the U.S. Navy, which had prevented Iran from commandeering two tankers, they dispatched the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul to respond to a distress call from the Richmond Voyager in international waters off the coast of Oman. Iranian authorities had allegedly requested the tanker to stop and even fired shots, but they eventually left the scene upon the arrival of the USS McFaul.
Following the incident, the owner of the Iranian ship requested that the Richmond Voyager be seized, as reported by IRINN. However, Chevron, the U.S. oil company managing the tanker, reassured that the vessel was operating normally and the crew members were safe.
It is worth noting that just over a month ago, Iran had seized two oil tankers, as confirmed by the U.S. Navy. The Strait of Hormuz, situated between Iran and Oman, serves as a crucial passageway for approximately one-fifth of the world’s seaborne crude oil and oil products, according to Vortexa, an analytics firm. This region has witnessed a series of shipping attacks since 2019, occurring during periods of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.