Singapore: Rickmers Shipmanagement has denied claims by Iranian authorities that the Maersk Tigris containership was detained yesterday because the company managing it owes an Iranian firm money.
Speaking with Splash, Rickmers Shipmanagement spokesperson Cor Radings said that the company became aware of the claims from Iran via news media, but had not had direct contact with Iran authorities as yet. He told Splash that the company is unaware of any claims against the vessel or the company, and that there are no outstanding issues of this sort. He did stress that he can’t speak for Maersk, the owners of the vessel.
Earlier today the head of the Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran, Mohammad Sa’eednejad, told local media: “A legal complaint by a domestic private company resulted in the seizure of the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel in Iranian waters by the Coast Guard.”
Radling added that contact has been made this morning with the crew, and all 24 are safe and in good condition. A number of media reports had suggested there were 34 crew onboard – something Radling clarified with Splash.
Meanwhile, Maersk issued a release at 10.00 hrs Danish time this morning.
“We are continuing our efforts to obtain more information about the Iranian authorities’ seizure – in international waters – of Maersk Tigris. We are not able at this point to establish or confirm the reason behind the seizure,” the Danish line said in a release, adding that the company remains in close dialogue with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“As there is a lot of rumours we are trying to get to the bottom of this,” a spokesman for Maersk told Splash.
The 5,466 teu Maersk Tigris was delivered in December last year. It is owned by Oaktree, on charter to Maersk, managed by Rickmers Shipmanagement and flagged with the Marshall Islands.
“The Marshall Islands Registry is working with all parties and the authorities to secure the release of the Maersk Tigris as soon as possible,” a spokesperson told Splash.
With additional reporting by Hans Thaulow and Sam Chambers.
Pictured are mapping images provided by VesselsValue.com showing the course of the Maersk Tigris as it was detained (click to enlarge).