The Iranian capture last week of a “foreign tanker” allegedly carrying about 700 tons of smuggled oil, is beginning to look like a publicity stunt by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to keep it in the public eye. As Mikhail Voytenko observes on the FleetMon website, photos and You Tube footage of the arrest of the “tanker” show nothing more than an old and small offshore supply ship that had probably been converted into a deck cargo ship to carry goods in the region. Iran has changed its version of the story, something it has had a tendency to do in recent months when a previous version has been shown to be false. It now claims the vessel was smuggling fuel rather than oil. But the small ship’s name was blurred on photos and videos, possibly in an attempt to conceal how small the seized ship was and its irrelevance in the grand scheme of vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
Cargo vessel Arikun (IMO 9385895) ran aground in the vicinity of Lauis Ledge Light House in Talisay City, Philippines, while entering the Traffic Separation Scheme during the morning of August 3rd, bound for Cebu International Port. The vessel had 18 crew on board and was carrying 4,210 tons of wheat. She also had 287,167 litres of fuel on board. She was towed to Cebu International Port for inspections. The local Marine Environmental Protection Unit conducted an assessment and detected no oil spill. 2007-built, Panama-flagged, 5,691 gt Arikun is owned by Arikun Wisdom SA care of manager Wisdom Marine Lines SA of Taipei City, Taiwan. ISM manager is Well Shipmanagement & Maritime of Taipei City, Taiwan. It is entered with Skuld (Business unit Skuld Hong Kong) on behalf of Wisdom Marine Lines SA.
Cargo ship Ust-Ilinsk (IMO 8624280) collided with an embankment and a training boat in Rostov-on-Don during the afternoon of August 3rd. The boat was badly damaged, with its hull being torn open over several square metres.. 1987-built, Panama-flagged, 4,911 gt Ust-Ilimsk is owned by Egeria Shipping Ltd care of manager Deepblue Marine Brokerage & Towage Ltd, Ras al Khaimah, UAE. ISM manager is Agate Shipping LLC of Odessa, Ukraine. It is entered with VSK Insurance.