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LP 41/2020 Safety Reminders for Vessels Trading in the Strait of Hormuz

2020-04-16

The Club has been informed that a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship was boarded by some armed men on 14 April 2020 while it was at anchor in the open sea south of the Strait of Hormuz. The ship was held for a short time before released somewhere off the Iranian coast. Suspicion has fell on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard while some claims that it was a routine anti-smuggling inspection by Iran authorities.

The incident has again stirred up worries on regional security among owners and war risks insurers, especially with previous attacks targeting oil tankers since May last year coming back to mind. The strait has been geographically crucial in international petroleum market, plus the escalating tension between the US and Iran, the situation there is expected to be more complicated this year. With the strait turning into a playground for interested parties in the Middle East, navigation through the region will continue to be precarious.

Advice to Members:

The Club would like to urge entered ships, especially oil tankers proceeding to the Persian Gulf or the Strait of Hormuz to exercise caution when operating in the area.

1.  All crew to stay vigilant with enhanced watchkeeping and patrol. Monitor the situation using VHF radio and stay connected with the port authority.

2.  Prevent unidentified persons from boarding. For officials trying to get on board, verify their identities and keep a good record.

3.  Navigate through the region speedily where possible. Stay away from disputed waters when selecting anchorages and planning courses.

4.  Report emergencies or suspicious incidents to UKMTO, MSCHOA and CMF as soon as possible.

5.  Make early arrangement for held cover and communicate with your war risks insurer for any problem coming up.

Members or Owners wishing to have a single voyage covered by war risk insurance are welcomed to approach us for more information.

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