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Tanker hijacking in England being treated as “marine counter-terrorism”

A photo of the vessel taken today has circulated on social media

PortandTerminal.com, October 25, 2020

Police and coastguard officers are dealing with reports of an attempted hijacking of a Liberian-registered tanker off the Isle of Wight.

SOUTHHAMPTON, ENGLAND – A British MP has confirmed that the ongoing ‘hijacking’ incident off the Isle-of-Wight would be treated as “marine counter-terrorism”. He said he expected specialist units to be scrambled to handle the situation.

It comes as police and coastguard teams are dealing with an incident on board the Liberian-registered Nave Andromeda crude oil tanker south of Sandown. Various reports have suggested that a number of stowaways may have taken control of the ship

The incident is currently underway onboard the Nave Andromeda vessel, which was due to arrive in Southampton this morning.

Bob Seely said to Sky News: “Despite being told not to drop anchor, the skipper has dropped anchor and the ship may be now under the control of stowaways on the ship.

Two coastguard helicopters have been scrambled to the scene and were spotted circling the ship as it adopted an erratic, zig-zag course through the Channel. An exclusion zone was set up south of Sandown. The vessel was reported to have left Lagos, Nigeria earlier this month.

“I suspect because of the nature of this it will be treated as marine counter-terrorism and the number of people in the UK who do that are very limited and the relevant units will be looking at options no doubt as to what we could be doing.”

Southampton MP Royston Smith described the incident as shocking. He told a Daily Echo reporter: “This is a shocking incident particularly so close to home. “I know our emergency services will be handling this in the professional way they always do and my thoughts are with those crew members who are on the ship.

“I hope this situation is brought to a safe and successful conclusion as quickly as possible.”

A spokeswoman for Associated British Ports, which runs Southampton port, said it had not had any contact with the vessel and had no further comment.

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