Maersk Line announced today that Iran has released the M/V Maersk Tigris and its crew, which were seized last month in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s major oil shipping lanes.
The vessel was diverted on April 28 by Iranian patrol boats while en route from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates. Iranian officials allowed the release of the Maersk vessel on the condition the company follow through with a judicial decision to pay a $3.6 million settlement to Pars Oil Products. The Iranian company was previously awarded damages over a 2003 case of uncollected cargo.
Rickmer Shipmanagement, responsible for the operation of the seized ship released a statement today reporting the safe return of both the crew and vessel. “Rickmers Group is pleased to report today its managed container vessel Maersk Tigris with 24 crew members on board has been officially released by Iranian authorities following an order from the court in Bandar Abbas, Iran.”
“Earlier Maersk Line put up a security in relation to the underlying court case. All crew are in a good condition. The news has been conveyed to the families of the seafarers.”
The Iranian seizure of the Maersk vessel raised international tension for ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. military began escorting both U.S. and British-flagged vessels passsing through the busy shipping lane. This practice, however, was stopped Wednesday as the situation began to de-escalate.
About 30% of the world’s seabourne oil shipments travel through the 21-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz.