AIS Replay Shows Moment Maersk Tigris Was Picked from Busy Shipping Lane

Mike Schuler
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April 29, 2015

This AIS replay shows the moment that Iranian forces intercepted the Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk Tigris as it made its way through through a busy internationally recognized shipping lane in the Strait of Hormuz towards Jebel Ali port.

According to the U.S. Pentagon, the MV Maersk Tigris was approached Tuesday at approximately 09:05 GMT by several Iranian IRGCN patrol vessels as the containership sailed through Iranian territorial waters inbound in the Strait of Hormuz, eventually firing shots across the ships bow to get it to divert deeper into Iranian waters.

Here’s a still shot of the vessel’s track:

AIS screenshot via Twitter/MarineTraffic
AIS screenshot via Twitter/MarineTraffic

The vessel is currently at anchor not far Bandar Abbas Port, a major Iranian port located in the middle of the Strait of Hormuz.

All 24 crew aboard are reported to be safe.

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization has said the ship was seized on the basis of a court order against Maersk Line over unpaid debts brought by an Iranian company, although Maersk has denied it was ever notified of such a claim. Some also suspect that the seizure may be more politically motivated.

“They (Iranian authorities) informed us that the seizure of Maersk Tigris is related to an allegedly unresolved cargo claim,” Maersk said in a statement Tuesday. “We have however not received any written notification or similar pertaining to the claim or the seizure of the vessel. We are therefore not able to confirm whether or not this is the actual reason behind the seizure.”

At least one U.S. warship has been sent to monitor the situation.

The ship is managed by Rickmers Shipmanagement and on time charter to Maersk Line. A statement posted to Twitter by Maersk Line said that it is in close dialogue with Rickmers Shipmanagement to explore options to help resolve the situation.

Iran has insisted that it is committed to freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf.

Full coverage: Maersk Tigris Seizure

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