The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has expressed concern over an incident where a Singapore-flagged tanker was fired at by a number of Iranian vessels.
On 14 May, oil products tanker Alpine Eternity was fired at by some small craft in international waters off the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The vessel owner South Maritime and manager Transpetrol said in a statement to Reuters that Alpine Eternity had collided with an Iranian jacket platform in the Gulf. No pollution or injuries occurred, but the parties involved are trying to settle the matter.
The MPA said it has requested the Iranian maritime authorities to investigate the incident and prevent future recurrences. It said, “The freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce are of critical importance to Singapore and other maritime and trading nations. Such interference with navigational rights is a serious violation of international law.”
Transpetrol reported the incident to the MPA on 23 March and the port authority immediately started a marine safety investigation, which is still in progress.
South Maritime and Transpetrol said in the statement to Reuters that they have been in dialogue with the owners/drilling contractor of the offshore structure, and representatives of the vessel and insurers concerned.
They said, “The owners and managers can see no reason why the Iranian authorities should try to seize the vessel, given the advanced state of negotiations and ongoing dialogue with the Iranian counterparts.”