Seven suspects have been detained after a suspected hijacking involving stowaways on a tanker off the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.

The 748ft tanker Andromeda, owned by Greek shipping company Navios, was en route from Lagos in Nigeria to Fawley oil refinery on Southampton Water.


It had not stopped anywhere else, thus reinforcing the belief that the stowaways boarded the crude tanker in Nigeria.

According to a source close to the shipping company, the crew were aware of stowaways on board, but the stowaways became violent towards the crew while it was off the Isle of Wight.

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The crew retreated to the ship’s citadel, a secure area in which they can lock themselves, making it impossible for attackers to get in.

This is standard procedure during a terrorist or pirate attack, but there is no suggestion the crew were doing more than protecting themselves from the stowaways.

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The crew contacted the coastguard, which then alerted police.

Navios are a long-established shipping company with a good reputation.

UK Special Forces completed the operation in nine minutes, BBC Defence Correspondent   said.


Military assistance had been requested after the stowaways on board the Liberian-registered Nave Andromeda reportedly became violent.

All 22 crew members, who were locked in the ship’s citadel, are safe.


The Ministry of Defence called the incident a “suspected hijacking” and said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel authorised the operation in response to a police request.

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In December 2018, four stowaways were detained after they ran amok on a container ship in the Thames Estuary.

The men, from Nigeria and Liberia, waved metal poles and threw faeces and urine after being found hiding on the Grande Tema.





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