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‘Hijacking’ Ends After Special Forces Nighttime Storm of Tankership Stowaways

26th October 2020
English Channel Tanker 'Hijacking':  "This problem will increase." Former Royal Navy Officer, Chris Parry calls for a 'safe and secure maritime border' after a ship was hijacked off the Isle of Wight. English Channel Tanker 'Hijacking': "This problem will increase." Former Royal Navy Officer, Chris Parry calls for a 'safe and secure maritime border' after a ship was hijacked off the Isle of Wight. Photo: BBC News -twitter

UK military forces stormed a tanker suspected to have been hijacked off the Isle of Wight which led to seven people detained.

Sixteen members of the Special Boat Service (SBS) ended a 10-hour standoff which started when stowaways on board the Liberian-registered Nave Andromeda reportedly became violent.

The stowaways, believed to be Nigerians seeking UK asylum, were handed over to Hampshire Police on Sunday night.

The 22 crew members were found safe.

The ship later docked in Southampton.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said British forces descended on to the vessel by rope from four Royal Navy helicopters after nightfall.

"The seven stowaways - believed to be Nigerians seeking asylum in the UK - were detained and handed over to Hampshire Police," he said.

Navios Tanker Management, operator of the crude oil tanker, said the master of the vessel became concerned for the safety of the crew "due to the increasingly hostile behaviour of the stowaways" who had "illegally boarded" in Lagos, Nigeria.

In a statement released on Monday, the company thanked the UK authorities for their "timely and professional response".

More on the English Channel incident here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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