Iranian-owned bulk carrier Iran Deyanat, which was hijacked off Somalia in August, has berthed at Rotterdam after boarding and inspection by port authority police and customs officials.
The 1983-built, 43,150 dwt Iranian-flag bulker, loaded with industrial minerals and food products was allowed to enter the port on Tuesday after officials gave it a clean bill of health.
The ship was the subject of articles by US-based bloggers that some pirates became ill after gaining access to the ship’s cargo, leading to speculation that the ship was carrying arms, uranium or chemical weapons.
A local Rotterdam politician called for inspections before the bulk carrier was allowed to enter port but harbour master Jaap Lems gave the go-ahead for the vessel to enter the port where a multi-disciplinary team comprising inspectors from the port authority, customs and habour police boarded and searched the ship reporting no cause for concern.
No hazardous substances were found and the paperwork was in order, a port spokesman said.
Thomas Poetsch of the ship’s charterer German-based Hinrichs, said there had never been any evidence that pirates had suffered illness during the hijack. But he pointed out that anyone entering the holds mid-voyage risked immediate suffocation because of oxygen degeneration.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Hijacked Iranian bulker berths at Rotterdam: