I saw this today on The Guardian – Seven stowaways and a hijacked oil tanker: the strange case of the Nave Andromeda: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/09/stowaways-oil-tanker-isle-of-wight-hijacking-strange-case-nave-andromeda/. Longer article.
by Samira ShackleThu 9 Jun 2022 01.00 EDT
In October 2020 an emergency call was received from a ship in British waters. After a full-scale commando raid, seven Nigerians were taken off in handcuffs – but no one was ever charged. What really happened on board?
Shortly after 9am on 25 October 2020, the captain of the Nave Andromeda sent out a distress call. The crude oil tanker was situated six miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight, close enough to be visible from the pebble beaches that edge the island. In Greek-accented English, the captain, Antonis Perros, said that seven stowaways who had boarded the ship in Nigeria had escaped from the cabin where they were locked: “I try to keep them calm but I need immediately, immediately agency assistance.” For their safety, he said, most of the 22 members of the crew were now locked into a secure area of the ship known as the citadel.
The local police force on the mainland, Hampshire constabulary, began coordinating a response. Policing the seas is complex, and they were in communication with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the UK Border Force. A three-mile exclusion zone was established around the ship.
At about lunchtime the story broke in the media. Isle of Wight Radio reported “an attempted hijacking”, and soon afterwards Hampshire police confirmed that there was an “ongoing incident”. By 3.45pm, coastguard helicopters were circling the Nave Andromeda. The vessel was moving aimlessly, raising fears on shore that the captain had lost control.