Diplomatic Sources–Red Sea: Empire’s Greek sailor repatriated

Empire Navigation, managers of the crude oil tanker St. Nikolas seized in the Gulf of Oman by Iran’s navy, reports the safe release of the youngest crew member onboard its seized vessel.

The Greek cadet, escorted by the Greek Ambassador to Iran, is board a flight to return home.

The company has also established contact with the Filipino Ambassador to Iran who will be visiting  the vessel upon required formalities are completed by the local authorities.

Filipino government officials continue their ongoing efforts as of first day to negotiate the safe return of the remaining crew members.

The ship St. Nikoloas was sailing laden, with a cargo of about 145,000 mts of crude oil loaded in Basrah, Iraq and destined to Aliaga (Turkey), via the Suez Canal, when she was seized by Iran on 11 January.

The Iranian media cited a statement from the Iranian navy saying the seizure followed an order from an Iranian court.

Empire Navigation is the manager of the vessel, and Tupras is the charterer.

The ship’s manage Empire Navigation has informed that the remaining 18 seafarers, still onboard the vessel anchored at Bandar Abbas in Iran, are in good health and in contact with their families.

“The company remains committed to the safe release of all crew members. The safety and wellbeing of our crew and their families will always be top priorities for our Company. We remain in constant cooperation with the seafarers’ families, working with specialized professionals to provide mental health and psychological support during this emotional and difficult time,” reads the company’s statement.

“Family members will have access to these resources until all seafarers are safely released, at which time the seafarers themselves will have support as long as advised by medical professionals,” it was added.