World News – GB – Stowaways detained as Special Forces take control of tanker off Isle of Wight


Seven stowaways were arrested after the Special Boat Service stormed a Liberian-registered tanker off the Isle of Wight that they are suspected of attempting to hiijack

Special forces responded to a request for help from Hampshire Police in the early evening on Sunday, taking control of the ship Nave Andromeda in nine minutes after fearing the crew were no longer fully in control

« The armed forces have taken control of the ship and seven people have been arrested Police investigations will now continue Initial reports confirm that the crew is safe and sound, » said the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a press release

The 228-meter tanker was due to dock in Southampton on Sunday to retrieve a cargo of gasoline, but its course in the English Channel has become irregular, prompting calls for intervention as it passes the southeastern edge of the Isle of Wight

The SBS, based in Poole, Dorset, used two Navy Merlin helicopters and two Navy Wildcat helicopters to take control of the tanker, which had sailed to the UK from Nigeria Typically 16 people quickly descending from helicopters would be used to take control of a ship

Hampshire Police say the 22 crew of the Nave Andromeda are unharmed and officers are now investigating the incident The force said: « At 1004h today, concerns were raised with police for the welfare of the crew aboard the ship, which was located about six miles off Bembridge

“The ship was traveling towards Southampton, after leaving Lagos in Nigeria It was reported that a number of stowaways were on board and that they made threats to the crew

« Following an intervention by several police agencies, with the support of the army and other partners of the emergency services, seven people were arrested by the police »

The ship left Lagos on October 6 Lloyd’s List, the shipping newspaper, said it believed seven stowaways had boarded in Nigeria Their presence was discovered, but they turned violent when the crew attempted to lock them in a cabin

Navy insiders were relieved to have concluded the incident relatively quickly once police called for help « It was happening pretty much in the backyard of the Royal Navy I think that they wanted to show that they could put an end to it, ”said a naval source

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel have allowed armed forces personnel to board the ship in the English Channel in response to a police request, said the Ministry of Defense

Wallace said: “I salute the hard work of the armed forces and the police to protect lives and secure the ship In dark skies and deteriorating weather we should all be thankful for our brave staff People are safe tonight thanks to their efforts « 

Tobias Ellwood, Chairman of the Commons Defense Committee, said the boarding of the tanker by the British armed forces was a « good result » « Seven stowaways on board taking control of a ship or preventing the ship to be fully in control would have set off a multi-agency alarm, and then well-prepared classified protocols were implemented, « he told the BBC

« Initially this did not appear to be terrorism-related or involving WMD, but the erratic behavior [of the ship] was of concern The safety of the crew was important, as was any unauthorized movement to the coast I am happy to see that swift action has been taken « 

The Nave Andromeda is reportedly managed by Inchcape and owned by Greek operator Navios Maritime Holdings The ship is said to have made two stops during its voyage, anchoring off the Canary Islands and off the French coast just south of Saint -Nazaire in Brittany

Police as well as Maritime Agency and Coast Guard staff dealt with the incident first It comes after a summer in which the number of migrants crossing the Channel has increased rapidly According to an analysis by PA Media, 7,000 migrants had arrived in the UK on small boats this year by the end of September – more than three times the number of arrivals via the same route in all of 2019

Oil tanker, Isle of Wight, UK

News from the world – GB – Stowaways detained as special forces take control of oil tanker off the coast of the Isle of Wight