Royal Marines storm super tanker using helicopters and speed boats - Grace 1

It seems USA asked UK/Spain to stop the Iranian tanker at Gibraltar. But there are no laws against Iran sending VLCCs to Syria. It seems the European Union has decided that EU cannot trade with Syria but EU is not Iran. Soon Russian tankers will arrive with oil to Syria. It seems USA is prepared to start a war with Iran. But USA has lost all wars it has started recently.
One reason I ask is that my ship was once stopped by a US warship and visited by a an armed officer and some trigger happy sailors. We were in ballast between two Egyptian ports. They only found one container in one hold aboard and wondered what it was! Spare parts we told them! They refused our offer of a cup of tea.

1 Like

Related post in gCaptain

UK Tanker Reported ‘safe and well’ After Iranian Threats

By Sylvia Wes (Reuters) – UK-flagged supertanker Pacific Voyager which halted in the Gulf on Saturday is “safe and well”, a British official told Reuters, after Iran dismissed reports the Revolutionary Guards had seized the vessel.

A Revolutionary Guards commander on Friday had threatened to seize a British ship in retaliation for the capture by Royal Marines of Iranian supertanker Grace 1 in Gibraltar.

So British Royal Marines storm a Panama flag ULCC using helicopters and speed boats and the Master of M/T Grace 1 of course stops and invites them aboard for a cup of tea. What else can be done? But who ordered this attack? And why? Theresa May?

I’m not saying it is right but many from the international community blame the recent attacks on the four tankers in the Strait of Hormuz on Iran & or rogue cells inside the Iranian Republican Guard. Considering the tanker was full of Iranian oil & oil export is a major source of funding for Iran, no one should be bewildered by the confiscation of this oil & the escalation of the international game of cat & mouse. This was easily predicted. Iran will probably need to solely export her oil on Chinese or Russian flagged tankers at an even greater cost than before which I suspect was the goal to start with. Mine sweepers & military escorts might be needed in the Strait of Hormuz. Business as usual.

One more thing, if you own any stocks in cyber security companies the high will likely be in the next couple of months because we can expect cyber attacks from both sides of this conflict soon.

1 Like

As I dont want to derail this thread too much, you are welcome to PM me. However, it is incorrect to say we have lost all wars lately. Speaking as someone who actually spent some time over there, we won.

The reason for the action taken was sanctions by EU against Syrian Government owned companies. The destination of the cargo was suspected to be a refinery in Syria according to this official statement by the Chief Minister of Gibraltar:
Since neither UK, EU or Gibraltar is in agreement with the unilateral US sanctions against Iranian oil export, that is a plausible reason.
Whether US pressure had anything to do with it is hotly debated.


Yep, that’s the official word but a person doesn’t have to be a connect-the-dots gold medalist to figure this one out. At least the Iranians believe the confiscation was directed towards them & not necessarily at Syria. Now it’s Iran’s turn to move. This is an old, deadly game.

And I don’t think the US had to put too much “pressure” on their historical allies on the other side of the pond. Many people think it was Iranian mines that blew up the tankers & no one wants to see a nuclear armed Iran. I think it was a message from the U.K & others in the E.U to Iran that they won’t set on the sidelines too much longer & Iran should work it out.

Well, it seems US has lost in Afghanistan (after 18 years) and Syria (after 11) and is pulling out after starting the military attacks 2001 and 2008. And the US Navy’s contribution is negligible in either case. Being a naval warrior myself I always recommend to attack in force and win quickly. This UK marines attack of a Panama flag merchant ship in international water is stupid and not acceptable. Of course all my ships are Panama flag.

We are still in Afghanistan and Syria. I’m not sure how anyone can say those are losses when we are still actively occupying. No such thing as a quick win against an insurgency. And you could put Iraq in the “W” column all 3 times.

I’m playing the Devil’s advocate here. You are right, it’s unacceptable. But so is shooting down $100 Million droans in international air space & blowing up random ships transiting near your shore. Either side can turn this confrontation into an open, bloody one with bullets & bombs any time they wish. Thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet & hopefully it doesn’t. If Iran & the US/Saudia Arabia wants to continue pee’ing in each other’s cereal instead of going into open war than all the better IMO.

BTW, do you think you would feel different about the situation if you were sailing on one of the ships that were blown up in the Straits of Hormuz? If things continue as they are eventually a sailor will be killed passing through the Strait & chances are high it will be one sailing on a Panamanian or other FOC ship.


None of this is new. Its just back in the news. In 2008 we were rocket attacked with Iranian made rockets in Iraq. We’ve had an icy relationship since the Shah’s exit and the hostages were taken.


It also has to do with the Petrodollar & the historical animosity between the Saudis & Iranians. The Saudi continue to prop up the US currency by preferring to sell oil in US dollars & the US continues to fight their wars for them. Every new Iranian leader continuing to chant “Death to Israel” doesn’t paint a rosey picture for a nuclear armed Iran either.

1 Like

A former employee of the CIA, Robert Baer, wrote a book called “Sleeping with the Devil”, that talks about some of this.
In Sleeping with the Devil , Baer documents with chilling clarity how our addiction to cheap oil and Saudi petrodollars caused us to turn a blind eye to the Al Sa’ud’s culture of bribery, its abysmal human rights record, and its financial support of fundamentalist Islamic groups that have been directly linked to international acts of terror, including those against the United States. (From Amazon Kindle store)

1 Like

Question is what will happen now. It seems the tanker is Russian owned/crewed and on a voyage charter to Syrian interests … and that the cargo is/was Iranian owned. The tanker is now controlled by the UK Royal Navy/marines = UK government with no experience of tanker operations. Imagine having trigger happy soldiers running around the tanker on the bridge and down in the pump and engine rooms. It is a pity that media doesn’t send a team of journalists and photographers to interview the participants. Worst scenario is that the tanker catches fire, explodes and spills oil and that the owners blame the British for it. A better solution is that the Russian navy intervenes and liberates the tanker, so it can proceed to its destination.
I am surprised that the UK police hasn’t arrested the Master (& crew) for any specific crimes so far.

My guess is everything goes on like it always has. This stuff in nothing new. The good news is, I don’t think the American people can stomach another war in the Middle East to accompany the existing ones. And I don’t think DJT gives a rats ass about that, “winning hearts & minds” & “nation building” bullshit. If any Americans are killed & Iran is blamed I suspect the US would blow up some Iranian RADAR stations, air fields, uranium enrichment facility, a palace or two & maybe a refinery & call it quits. If Iran retaliated against Israel the US wouldn’t hold them back this time & that would be real bad for the Iranians. The best thing the Iranians can do is nothing & see who wins the US presidential election in 16 months. Many Democrats running love Iran & hates Israel.

We now know how the Shah’s exit came about, the US colluding with Saudi Arabia can move mountains, great team. If that had not happened it would have been an entirely different story and probably world.

The declassification of the papers of Brent Scowcroft, who worked in the Nixon and Ford Administrations, marks a significant milestone in our understanding of the origins of the Iranian Revolution. They reveal that in 1976 the US and Saudi Arabia colluded to force down oil prices, inadvertently triggering a financial crisis that destabilized Iran’s economy and weakened the Shah’s hold on power.


Perhaps the Shah’s entrance is more to the point.



I once sailed thirteen months on the Reza Shah The Great owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company in London later The Hague, Netherlands and managed by a Dutch shipping company. They had two ships built here, the other one was the Mohammed Reza Shah. The country at that time had no sea laws nor trained personnel to man these ships. A couple of Iranians studied at Dutch schools, we had three Iranian engineers on board.

The ship was one big comedy show, never a dull moment. The captain was a religious nutcase of some rare sect of which he even was a minister. He came on board with an organ, that was not a good sign. To our surprise he was rather successful in winning souls, within two months the 2nd engineer and some others were baptized in his bathtub and was the 2nd turning the music pages for the captain at the organ. Yes, I thought I had seen it all but had not counted on this one.

At Port Said he handed out to the Arabs, tradesmen etc on board, yellow papers with a large black letters spelling out: “You are in great danger” and it continued with telling them that they had the wrong belief, the man was a total idiot. He obviously had no idea what could be the consequences. Luckily the chief officer was in his wake pulling the pamphlets out of the Arabs hands before they could read it.


This was the bunker at Hook of Holland were all ships to and from Rotterdam had to pass. He painted the text himself and was handing out postcards with this picture to everybody he met.

If you have a strong stomach there is more here.


Seriously? The UK has no experience of tanker operations? Do you think that they still operate a navy of square riggers?
I am sure that the Royal Marines (notice the word ‘Marines’) would be highly delighted to be referred to as ‘trigger happy soldiers’.


Well, I know trigger happy UK Royal Marines soldiers have no experience of oil tanker operations. They are just trained to kill the enemy, etc. No to operate oil tankers at sea.

In this case they convinced by force the Master to change course outside Tangier to stop/anchor outside Gibraltar. If not they would have killed him. And there we are today.

Some clowns at Gibraltar then say the tanker planned to breach some EU regulations but … ???
Strange case.

So who ordered the attack on and taking over the command of M/T Grace 1?