Greek cadet of seized tanker who released says ‘well treated’ by Iranians

The Greek cadet of the tanker St Nikolas, which was seized in the Gulf of Oman by Iran’s navy, was repatriated.

The plane on which the Greek cadet was aboard, escorted by the Greek Ambassador to Iran, landed on Friday in the airport of Athens Eleftherios Venizelos.

On Greek media ERT, the young sailor talks about the happy ending of his adventure on his maiden voyage and thanked the Iranians who, as he said, “treated me excellently and expedited the process of my repatriation”.

He also thanked the Minister and the Deputy Foreign Minister and all those who helped in his return to Greece.

“It was something unprecedented for me and for the entire crew to seize the ship,” the Greek sailor said, but added that “the Iranians treated us exemplary.”

“I was pretty calm, because it’s the country’s policy for this to happen, so we expected something like this to happen.”

The ship St. Nikolas 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.

Empire Navigation, managers of St. Nikolas, reported on Friday that the Filipino Ambassador to Iran visited the vessel and met with the 18 remaining seafarers, who are reported of good health and in frequent contact with their families.

The company on Friday said that expects to see further developments regarding the seafarers’ release soon and remains fully committed and dedicated to this cause.

“The safety and wellbeing of our crew and their families has and always will be our company’s top priority. We remain in constant cooperation with the seafarers’ families, working with specialized professionals to provide psychological support during this emotional and difficult time. Family members will have access to these resources until all seafarers are safely released, at which time the seafarers themselves will have the support as long as necessary,” reads the statement of Empire Navigation.