Isle of Wight oil tanker: Police given more time to interview seven men following dramatic rescue operation

MORE time has been granted to Hampshire police officers to question seven men following a maritime security incident in the Solent on Sunday.

By Richard Lemmer
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 5:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 5:38 pm

Southampton Magistrates Court has granted officers more time to question seven men who were detained during a maritime security incident on the tanker Nave Andromeda off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

At 10.04am on Sunday concerns were raised to police regarding the welfare of the tanker’s crew, which was sailing from Lagos in Nigeria to Southampton.

It was reported that a number of stowaways had made threats towards the crew, leading to a military recue operation.

The Nave Andromeda at berth in Port of Southampton this morning, following the major incident off the east coast of the Isle of Wight after 7 stowaways were detained from the vessel after a reported hijacking. Photo: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency

Seven men, who are all Nigerian nationals, were 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, and will remain in custody until the evening of Wednesday October 28.

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A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘Officers have 24 hours to question someone in custody. After the first 24 hours, we can then apply for 12 more hours with authorisation from a senior officer.

‘After that, all applications must be applied via the courts and authorised by a judge. A maximum of 96 hours can be granted.

‘We continue 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.’

All 22 crew members are safe and none were physically injured or required medical attention.

The vessel is now alongside in Southampton.

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