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World UK special forces board tanker and detain suspected stowaways: reports

23:05  25 october  2020
23:05  25 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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The crude oil tanker , the Liberian-registered Nave Andromeda, is thought to have stowaways on board and was due to dock in Southampton earlier. Lawyers representing the vessel's owners said the incident was "100% not a hijacking" despite reports . Hampshire Constabulary said the vessel was

Reports have claimed there was a hijacking attempt by stowaway passengers. “We are aware and dealing with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is situated south of the Isle of Identified in the British media as a Liberian-registered crude oil tanker , the Nave Andromeda left the Nigerian port

By Henry Nicholls

a large ship in a body of water: Nave Andromeda is seen in Portishead © Reuters/HUW GIBBY Nave Andromeda is seen in Portishead

SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) - British special forces boarded a Greek-operated oil tanker in the English channel on Sunday and detained seven suspected stowaways who had threatened the crew, Isle of Wight radio and police said.

a large ship in a body of water: Nave Andromeda is seen in Portishead © Reuters/HUW GIBBY Nave Andromeda is seen in Portishead

Police requested military assistance and a three-mile exclusion zone had been placed around the vessel, the Nave Andromeda, currently near the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England.

a large body of water: Oil tanker Nave Andromeda is seen off the coast of the Isle of Wight © Reuters/ISLE OF WIGHT RADIO Oil tanker Nave Andromeda is seen off the coast of the Isle of Wight

"Isle of Wight Radio understands that seven suspects have been detained onboard the Nave Andromeda," the station reported. "Special forces from Poole have been involved."

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Crude oil tanker NAVE ANDROMEDA, obviously in load, is reportedly hijacked by a gang of stowaways in the morning Oct 25, off Isle of Wight, while approaching her port of destination, Southampton UK . Tanker arrived from Lagos Nigeria.

SPECIAL forces stormed a hijacked container ship near Margate and arrested four migrants who seized control from The ship's crew found the stowaways and locked them in a cabinCredit: Stephen Huntley. The Special Boat Service (SBS) is the special forces unit of the of the UK 's Royal Navy.

The Special Boat Service, a naval special forces unit that works closely with the Special Air Service (SAS), is based in Poole in southern England.

A spokesman for the Defence Ministry declined to comment on the report.

It was not immediately clear where the suspected stowaways were from or what their intentions were.

Thousands of illegal economic migrants and would-be asylum seekers have sought to cross the English Channel from France to reach British shores this year, often paying people traffickers to help them traverse one of the world's busiest shipping lanes in overloaded rubber dinghies.

Police said the crew had been subject to threats from stowaways and that they were working with coastguard and border forces to resolve the situation.

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British police on Sunday declared a major incident after reports of the attempted hijacking of a ship in the English Channel. The incident off the Isle of Wight reportedly took place aboard the Libyan-registered Nave Andromeda crude oil tanker south of Sandown, according to Isle of Wight Radio.

Four stowaways found on a cargo ship in the Thames Estuary have been detained after the Essex Police said the vessel was boarded and secured shortly after 23:00 GMT on Friday - almost 14 hours after the force was first A police spokesman said they would be handed over to UK Border Force .

"It was reported that a number of stowaways were on board, and they had made verbal threats towards the crew. No one has been reported injured," a police spokesman said.

The coastguard agency said search and rescue helicopters were attending but did not give details.

Refinitiv vessel tracking data showed the Liberia-flagged Nave Andromeda had been expected to arrive in the English port of Southampton at 1030 GMT on Sunday. The vessel had left from Lagos, Nigeria, the data showed.

The Nave Andromeda's registered owner is Folegandros Shipping Corp, and the vessel is managed by Greek shipping company Navios Tankers Management Inc., according to Refinitiv.

In December 2018, British forces stormed an Italian cargo ship and regained control after stowaways threatened crew as it sailed close to the southeast coast.

(Reporting by Henry Nicholls; Additional reporting by William James, Guy Faulconbridge and Jonathan Saul; Editing by Catherine Evans, Raissa Kasolowsky, Frances Kerry and Nick Macfie)

Seven held for attempted hijacking off UK coast .
A group of stowaways detained in a special forces raid on an oil tanker off the coast of southern England were arrested on suspicion of attempted hijacking, police said Monday. "The seven men have been arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force," Hampshire Police said in a statement. The stowaways were held after the Royal Navy's elite Special Boat Service (SBS) swooped on the Nave Andromeda on Sunday night, after it issued a mayday call near the Isle of Wight.

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