On August 22, 2022, Heroic Idun flying the Marshall Islands flag was arrested. It was accused of illegal export of crude oil.
The Heroic Idun was to take on a cargo from the Akpo offshore FPSO, operated by CNOOC.
A Nigerian Navy vessel, the Gongola, then approached the Heroic Idun. The crew members stated that they feared a pirate attack as the reason for their flight.
They fled into Equatorial Guinea waters and were later arrested. They reported an attempted act of piracy to the IMB reporting center. The two grounds they denied were violation of the Nigerian Suppression of Piracy Act, claiming to be attacked by pirates, and exporting crude oil without a license.
Meanwhile, the ship’s owners, Ray Carrier Carriers, and operators OSM Ship Management and BP Charter, as well as the Marshall Islands as flag state, and various unions have all worked with the international community, including the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, to secure the crew’s release.
On May 2nd nearly nine months after the ordeal began, a court in Port Harcourt ordered the release of the tanker’s crew. The owner will have to pay a nominal official fine of 11 000$. The crew, composed of Sri Lankan, Indian, Pakistani and Polish nationals, will soon return to their home country.