British police seize control of oil tanker with stowaway trouble

  • Oct 26, 2020
  • Sydney Morning Herald

The London Telegraph reported that after the crew found the Nigerian stowaways and attempted to lock the men inside a cabin, they smashed glass and made threats to kill. The captain made a Mayday call, telling an operator he feared for his life, adding: "I'm trying to keep them calm but please send help."

The Nave Andromeda left Lagos, Nigeria, on October 6 and had been expected to dock in Southampton, England, at 10.30am on Sunday, according to ship tracking website MarineTraffic.com. The tanker had been circling an area about eight kilometres south-east of Sandown on the Isle of Wight since about 10am, tracking data showed.

Chris Parry, a retired Royal Navy rear admiral who is now a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said he suspects the stowaways grew violent as the tanker neared port, and the crew retreated to a secure area known as “the citadel” to retain control of the vessel.

The captain probably wanted to avoid taking a fully loaded tanker into the heavily populated area near the Portsmouth navy base, where Britain’s carriers are based, as long as this incident was going on, Parry said.