Seafaring group welcomes release of UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero seized by Iran

The British-flagged Stena Impero spent two months in captivity in Iran(Photo: Reuters)

Christian seafaring charity Stella Maris has welcomed reports that the UK-flagged tanker seized by Iran is once again on the move.

The Stena Impero has reportedly left the port of Bandar Abbas and is making its way to Dubai after being detained by the Iranian authorities for more than two months. 

Once in Dubai, the crew will be debriefed and repatriated to their home countries. 

"After 69 days being detained against their will, it is good news that this crew has finally been allowed to sail and hopefully get back to their families soon," said Martin Foley, National Director of Stella Maris, also known as Apostleship of the Sea.

While welcoming the turnaround for the Stena Impero crew, the charity said there were many other crewmembers worldwide experiencing hardship because of the circumstances on their vessels. 

It said it was currently monitoring 14 other vessels around the world affected by wage problems, lack of shore leave, bullying and harassment, death and piracy.

Deacon Peter Barrigan, Apostleship of the Sea port chaplain for Tees and Hartlepool.(Photo: PictureBook Studios)

"Whilst the world's attention has rightly been on this ship and its crew, Stella Maris remains concerned for other ships out of the media spotlight," the charity said.

Stella Maris is the largest charity in the world providing welfare support to seafarers in over 330 ports around the world as well as supporting seafarers' families.

John Green, Director of Development at Stella Maris, said its port chaplains and volunteers were continuing to provide support to seafarers "in stressful situations that those working on land rarely come across".

"For seafarers the support of good ship owners and Stella Maris remains vital when life at sea can be dangerous and highly stressful," he said.