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The Japanese product tanker 'Orange Victoria' is under investigation at Kochi Port, India, suspect in a hit and run incident off Kochi.

Suspicions are the UK-flagged ship, with 23 crew members onboard, hit the fiberglass fishing boat 'Achu' in the night hours of 18 March, while underway from Singapore to India. The fishing vessel sustained damage but there were no injuries to its six crew members.

Shortly after, the ship was seized by Indian authorities, who conducted an inspection on Saturday morning. Initial estimates, after checking AIS as well as paint on this part, suggest there have been signs of involvement in the incident, according to local media reports.

The ship's Captain told the Coastal Police that they were not aware that the ship had collided with the boat.

The team of experts will also collect the paint on the boat for lab testing, Kaumudi reported.

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The crew change crisis caused by COVID-19 restrictions continues to cause challenges, despite some improvement in the numbers, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization has warned.

In a statement, Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that according to industry analysis, the numbers of seafarers requiring repatriation after finishing their contracts had declined from around 400,000 in September 2020, to around 200,000 as of March 2021.

However, this number could rise again, while issues around vaccination need to be resolved.

Now, more than ever, seafarers need to be designated as key workers to ensure priority vaccination and access to safe transit and travel

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According to Basra Governorat, pirates have hijacked an Iraqi ship that was stranded outside the country’s waters and took it to an unknown location.

Specifically, Kadhim Finjan Al-Hammami said he received "authenticated pleas from the private owner of Iraqi tugboat T-4, to free his ship from pirates".

What is more, the attackers had taken it to an unknown location, and demanded in an audio recording that he pay a ransom of $80,000.

“The owner of the hijacked ship explained that his ship ran aground at the Iranian coast, about seven miles north of Bushehr Port. The crew of a ship called Sohan stole its fuel and plundered its contents and equipment. «National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) quoted Al-Hammami as saying.

Concluding, following the situation, the Iraqi authorities have sent an urgent call for help to Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC) in Bahrain.

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British security intelligence firm received reports indicating that a vessel was approached by a small grey boat with 3 persons onboard wearing masks. However, vessel and all crew reported to be safe.

Whilst unconfirmed, reports of a 'small grey boat with 3 masked persons onboard' are commensurate with that of Iranian patrol vessels.

According to Dryad Global, the reported incident is understood to have occurred 6.3nm SW of a location where Iranian forces boarded and detained the South Korean vessel HANKUK CHEMI on the 4th January 21.