U.K. special forces end stowaway takeover of Navios tanker

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Reportedly 16 special forces members were dropped on tanker from helicopters similar to this Royal Navt Merline [Image: Royal Navy]

An incident in which a group of stowaways took control of the Navios Tankers Management 75,000 dwt tanker Nave Andromeda in the English Channel off Gosport, Hampshire, ended when U.K. special forces intervened.

According to reports, the Liberian flagged vessel appears to have arrived in the channel from Lagos at on the morning of October 25. Authorities were alerted in a 9.00 a.m. Mayday call.

Subsequently the U.K. Ministry of Defence tweeted:

According to local newspaper Isle of Wight County Express. “At around 7 p.m., the sky around the ship became alive with lights as the SBS operation began. The ship was bathed in light and around 16 commandos from the Merlin, Wildcat and Chinook helicopters were dropped onto the deck.

“In an operation said to have lasted no longer than seven minutes, the seven stowaways were detained and the ship secured,” said the newspaper .

At 7.22 p.m., the Hampshire Constabulary reported:

“We are now in a position to provide a further update to the maritime security incident which took place on board the Nave Andromeda off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

“At 10.04 a.m. today (October 25) concerns were raised to police for the welfare of crew on board the vessel, which was situated approximately 6 miles off the coast of Bembridge.

“The vessel had been traveling in the direction of Southampton, having sailed from Lagos in Nigeria.

“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.

“All 22 crew members are safe and well.

“Police are investigating this incident and we have a number of enquiries to carry out to establish the full circumstances.”

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