The global shipping news and tracking site Trade Winds reports that a Hong Kong-flagged tanker has been boarded by armed men in the Strait of Hormuz, and subsequently taken into Iranian waters.
Details are sketchy at this point, but Reuters has also confirmed an event is unfolding, saying based on an urgent alert issued by maritime security firm Dryad Global that the vessel SC Taipei had been at anchor waiting to approach Jubail in Saudi Arabia, but that the tanker was "highly likely to be the vessel of concern", but added that it was "unclear whether the vessel is in distress or is being assisted by Iran in some way".
LIVE SITUATION THREAD START 2020-04-14 #OOTT— TankerTrackers.com, Inc.⚓️🛢 (@TankerTrackers) April 14, 2020
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
Reuters said additionally:
Armed men boarded a vessel at anchor in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said.
"The vessel is now reported to be at anchor approx. 3nm (nautical miles) off Ras Al Kuh, in vicinity of 25-48N 057-14E," the emailed advisory notice said.
However, details remain sketchy, with unconfirmed reports saying the ship and its crew were quickly released after being taken to Iranian waters.
Dryad Global within an hour or more of issuing its alert also said the tanker and crew have been released.
#UPDATE— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) April 14, 2020
Crew and tanker are reportedly released.
Quite interesting that #Iran seized & released the tanker in such haste.
-Is Tehran sending a signal?
-Or did they receive a warning message to release the vessel immediately? pic.twitter.com/hVVF3qdGke