It has been reported that Hong Kong-flagged tanker ‘SC Taipei’ came under attack and was seized by Iranian forces in the Gulf of Oman today.
The vessel is now reportedly off the Iranian coast, it had earlier been heading for Jubail in Saudi Arabia.
LIVE SITUATION THREAD START 2020-04-14 #OOTT
CHINA-FLAGGED TANKER "SC TAIPEI" (IMO 9175535, 22,377 DWT) PURPORTEDLY FELL UNDER ARMED ATTACK IN GULF OF OMAN AT 12:48 UTC BY IRANIAN NAVY / IRGC. VESSEL WAS SAILING TO JUBAIL, SAUDI ARABIA. NOW OFF IRANIAN COAST. VIA @GlobalDryad pic.twitter.com/FZPGn5ESVJ
— TankerTrackers.com, Inc.⚓️🛢 (@TankerTrackers) April 14, 2020
Further, according to Dryad Global here:
“Dryad Global has since identified that the Hong Kong flagged, SC TAIPEI IMO 9175535, is highly likely to be the vessel of concern. The vessel is understood to have a crew of 22 personnel. All are believed to be Chinese nationals. The vessel was understood to be at anchor in an in-ballast condition and awaiting orders to approach al-Jubail in Saudi Arabia. At 12:48UTC the vessel was shown to be underway towards the Iranian coastline. At 14:28UTC the vessel was shown to be stationary at a position 4nm off Mogh-e Qanbareh-ye Kuh Mobarak.
Details regarding this event remain fluid and it is currently unclear whether the vessel is in distress or is being assisted by Iran in some way. Dryad Global assesses that her current location does not correspond with any known commercial activity in the region.
The key unknown variable in this potential incident is that the SC TAIPEI is a Hong Kong-flagged vessel. While Beijing is not responsible for Hong Kong vessels, there is a realistic possibility that China would view the detention of a Hong Kong vessel as a proxy assault on its own sovereignty.”
This article will be updated as more information emerges,