Namely, JNG’s Chairman, Capt. Koichi Akamine, said that seafarers working on board merchant vessels that should have been accorded the right of freedom of innocent passage, have been caught up in the situation, causing great distress to them and their families.
The JNG will engage in dialogue with the ITF to look at how we can best ensure the welfare of the seafarers sailing within the region
In addition, speaking on behalf of the ITF, David Heindel, Chairman of the Seafarers Section, noted that such exposure of seafarers working on merchant vessels to life and safety risks is totally unacceptable. He added that he is concerned regarding seafarers' welfare, as all constituents of the IBF are.
For this reason, he called for a diplomatic solution to the situation and to de-escalate tensions in the region, urging governments to use maximum efforts to have the crew of the Stena Impero released. He also urged governments to ensure safe passage of commercial ships in the Straits of Hormuz.
Moreover, the parties of the IBF have pledged to monitor the situation over the coming week and re-group for discussions next week.
Overall, the tension in Strait of Hormuz peaked after the UK arrested the Indian Captain and Chief Officer of the Iranian tanker 'Grace 1', a few days after the ship was seized suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria.
Following this event, Iran seized Stena Impero, leading a part of the shipping sector addressing that this was an act of retaliation and an act against international shipping laws.
However, Stena Bulk confirmed that they communicated with the crew of the Iranian-seized Stena Impero. This follows the company's decision on asking permission from the Iranian authorities to visit the crew members.