IMO Condemns Tanker Attacks in Strait of Hormuz

TankerIllustration. Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held July 15-19.

After debate, the IMO Council decided to condemn the attacks and expressed its concern over the grave danger to life and the serious risks to navigational safety and the environment to which such incidents may give rise.

The Council drew attention to the need for flag states and shipowners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the increased security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.

Secretary-General Kitack Lim also emphasized his personal condemnation of the attacks, asserting that “threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.”

In mid-May 2019, Saudi Arabia-flagged vessels Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian vessel Andrea Victory and the UAE-flagged A.Michel were attacked off the coast of Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage. A second round of attacks occurred on June 13, involving the Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair and Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous. The ships suffered hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.

“I strongly urge all Member States to redouble their efforts and to work together to find a long lasting solution to ensure the safety and security of international shipping around the globe and the protection of the marine environment. We owe it to our industry, which is indispensable to the world, and to our seafarers,” Lim added.

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