Army and police forces have been getting ready on Sunday night to maintain the reported tried hijacking of a Liberian-registered tanker off the Isle of Wight after stowaways on board have been mentioned to have turn out to be violent.
Coastguard helicopters have been soaring across the Nave Andromeda, a Greek-owned send, because it pursued a zigzag route a number of miles past Sandown off the japanese finish of the Isle of Wight.
At one degree the vessel used to be mentioned to have anchored within the Channel. Its erratic development advised that the skipper might not be totally in keep an eye on.
The Ministry of Defence first of all denied it used to be concerned however there have been requires the Particular Boat Carrier, based totally round the corner in Poole, to be deployed. It’s understood that the federal government has asked army help.
The 228-metre tanker have been anticipated to dock in Southampton on Sunday. Aerial images confirmed it sitting prime within the water; it’s understood it used to be because of pick out up a shipment of petrol from the close by Fawley refinery.
Police in addition to Maritime and Coastguard Company group of workers first of all handled the incident. A Hampshire police spokesman mentioned: “We’re conscious and coping with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is positioned south of the Isle of Wight.”
A coastguard spokeswoman mentioned: “We’re recently aiding Hampshire constabulary with an incident on board a vessel positioned off the Isle of Wight. The quest and rescue helicopters from Lee on Solent and Lydd are in attendance.”
A spokeswoman for Related British Ports, which runs Southampton port, mentioned it had now not had any touch with the vessel. It’s understood that the send had now not been refused access to the harbour.
A proper exclusion zone used to be established south of Sandown.
The vessel left Lagos, Nigeria, on 6 October. Lloyd’s Record, the transport newspaper, mentioned it believed seven stowaways had boarded the vessel in Nigeria. Their presence have been found out, however they was violent when the vessel’s team tried to fasten them in a cabin.
The vessel used to be reported to have made two stops on its voyage, anchoring off the Canary Islands and stale the French coast simply south of Saint Nazaire in Brittany.
The Nave Andromeda is known to be controlled by means of Inchcape and owned by means of Greek operator Navios Maritime Holdings.
A spokesperson for Hampshire police mentioned: “At 10.04am lately [25 October] issues have been raised to police for the welfare of team on board the Nave Andromeda – a vessel positioned roughly six miles off the coast of Bembridge, Isle of Wight.
“The vessel have been travelling within the course of Southampton. It used to be reported that quite a few stowaways have been on board, and so they had made verbal threats against the team. No person has been reported injured.
“An exclusion zone, with a three-mile radius, is recently in position close to the vessel. Police are recently operating intently with our companions, together with the Maritime & Coastguard Company and Border Power, to carry this incident to a secure conclusion.”
A UK Chamber of Transport spokesperson mentioned: “We’re acutely aware of an incident onboard the Nave Andromeda off the Isle of Wight and are involved with the related government. We consider it’s more likely to be associated with stowaways onboard however are looking forward to additional info.”
Bob Seely, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, mentioned the incident could be handled as a “marine counter-terrorism” incident and advised a gathering of the federal government Cobra emergency committee may well be held to speak about the reaction. That used to be later discounted by means of respectable resources.
Seely mentioned he anticipated specialist gadgets to be scrambled to take care of the placement. He informed Sky Information: “Regardless of being informed to not drop anchor, the skipper has dropped anchor and the send is also now underneath the keep an eye on of stowaways at the send.
“I believe on account of the character of this it’ll be handled as marine counter-terrorism and the choice of other people in the United Kingdom who do this are very restricted and the related gadgets shall be taking a look at choices surely as to what we might be doing.”
Mick Money, common secretary of the maritime union RMT, mentioned: “We urge the United Kingdom executive to do all it might probably to forestall any hurt coming to team or somebody else at the Nave Andromeda.
“It is a troubling incident which will have to now not escalate to additional jeopardise team welfare or maritime protection in what’s an especially busy space for service provider transport.
“We will have to name on all events, together with the Greek shipowner to do so to unravel this incident safely and temporarily.”