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Canada United Kingdom: The Army intervenes on an oil tanker threatened by stowaways, seven arrests

18:50  26 october  2020
18:50  26 october  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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The crew of this ship which was carrying 42,000 tonnes of crude oil locked itself in a secure area pending the intervention of the authorities

Le navire « Nave Andromeda » transportait 42.000 tonnes de pétrole brut. © Simon Czapp / Solent News / SIPA The ship "Nave Andromeda" was carrying 42,000 tonnes of crude oil. PIRATES - The crew of this ship which was carrying 42,000 tonnes of crude oil locked itself in a secure area pending the intervention of the authorities

Seven suspects were arrested Sunday evening during an operation by the British armed forces to take control of an oil tanker south of England whose crew had been threatened by stowaways on board. This military intervention put an end to a crisis situation that had started about ten hours earlier off the Isle of Wight.

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“In response to a request from the police, the Minister of Defense and the Minister of the Interior authorized members of the armed forces to board a ship in the English Channel to ensure the safety of lives and a ship which was the subject of a suspicion of piracy, ”tweeted the Ministry of Defense. "The armed forces took control of the boat and seven people were arrested", according to the same source.

Ship from Lagos

The 22 crew members are "safe and sound," Hampshire Police said in a statement, saying the investigation was continuing to establish the full circumstances of the incident. According to the police, the police were alerted at around 10 a.m. (GMT) Sunday morning of the worrying situation of the crew of the oil tanker Nave Andromeda, which was off the Isle of Wight (southern England ).

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Stowaways were aboard the ship and threatened the crew, according to the same source, who earlier today referred to "verbal threats". Departing from Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, the ship was on its way to Southampton. An exclusion zone around the ship had been in place since Sunday morning for security reasons.

The crew locks themselves in for shelter

According to Defense Minister Ben Wallace, the operation was carried out "under dark skies and deteriorating weather". The Minister praised the courage of the personnel who intervened. “People are safe tonight because of their efforts,” he tweeted. Interior Minister Priti Patel praised the "rapid and decisive action of our police and our armed forces who were able to regain control of the situation, guaranteeing the safety of all those on board" .

Law firm Tatham & Co, representing the owners of the vessel, has assured BBC "100%" that this is not an act of piracy . According to the British channel, citing a source close to the shipping company, the crew locked themselves in a secure part of the ship to take shelter when the stowaways, whose presence on board had been known for a while, have become violent.

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"I commend the hard work of the Armed Forces and police to protect lives and secure the ship. In dark skies, and worsening weather, we should all be grateful for our brave personnel. People are safe tonight thanks to their efforts."

- Rt. Hon Ben Wallace MP (@BWallaceMP) October 26, 2020 42,000 tonnes of crude oil

The Coast Guard, who mobilized two helicopters, assisted the police force, a door said. Local Isle of Wight Radio initially reported on a possible piracy attempt aboard the 228-meter Liberian-registered vessel carrying 42,000 tonnes of crude oil

The UK had recently experienced a similar incident. In December 2018, four stowaways were arrested on a container ship from Nigeria after threatening the crew with iron bars. The police intervened to put an end to a blockade situation where the boat had made circles in the water for 14 hours in the Thames estuary

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This is interesting!