Hijacked Isle of Wight tanker: Seven men arrested by Hampshire police after special services raid oil tanker Nave Andromeda

SEVEN men have been arrested after special services raided an oil tanker off the coast of the Isle of Wight yesterday.

By Millie Salkeld
Monday, 26th October 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Monday, 26th October 2020, 3:05 pm
The Nave Andromeda in the port on October 26, 2020 in Southampton, England. The 228-metre, Liberian-registered oil tanker was carrying oil from Nigeria to the port of Southampton when it was subjected to a suspect hijacking by stowaways off the coast of the Isle of Wight on the South Coast of the British Isles.  (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
The Nave Andromeda in the port on October 26, 2020 in Southampton, England. The 228-metre, Liberian-registered oil tanker was carrying oil from Nigeria to the port of Southampton when it was subjected to a suspect hijacking by stowaways off the coast of the Isle of Wight on the South Coast of the British Isles. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Members of the Special Boat Service (SBS) secured the Nave Andromeda in around nine minutes after reports of threats being made towards the crew.

Just after 10am concerns were raised to Hampshire Police for the welfare of crew on board the vessel as the ship headed towards Southampton, having set sail from Lagos in Nigeria.

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They have since have been arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force under Section 9(1) and (3) of Aviation and Maritime and Security Act 1990.

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A spokesman from the police said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary continues to lead the investigation into the maritime security incident, which took place on board the Nave Andromeda off the coast.

‘At 10.04am concerns were raised to police for the welfare of crew on board the vessel, which was situated approximately six miles off the coast of Bembridge.

‘It was reported that a number of stowaways were on board, and they had made threats towards the crew.

‘Following a multi-agency response by police with support from the military and other emergency service partners, seven people were detained by police.

‘The seven men have been arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force under Sec 9(1) and (3) of Aviation and Maritime and Security Act 1990. They all remain in custody at police stations across Hampshire.

‘All 22 crew members are safe and well and the vessel is now alongside in the port of Southampton. Investigators are speaking to the crew members to establish the exact circumstances of what happened.

‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank the partner agencies including the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the military, the Home Office, and Border Force, which have been helping our investigation and assisted in bringing this incident to a safe conclusion.’

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘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.’

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