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Stowaways suspected to be Nigerians try to hijack crude-oil tanker heading to UK

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The Nave Andromeda docked in Southampton. PHOTO: BBC/PA Media

Seven stowaways suspected to be Nigerians seeking UK asylum have been arrested by British Special Boat Service (SBS) after they tried to hijack a crude-oil tanker.

The stowaways according to BBC report “illegally boarded” the Liberian-registered Nave Andromeda in Lagos.

British forces were reported to have descended on to the vessel by rope from four Royal Navy helicopters after nightfall to end the 10-hour standoff.

Navios Tanker Management, operator of the crude oil tanker, said the master of the vessel became concerned for the safety of the crew “due to the increasingly hostile behaviour of the stowaways”.

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The 22 crew members were found safe. The ship later docked in Southampton.

Narrating how the event unfolded, BBC reported that the 748ft-long (228m) ship left Lagos on 5 October, and was heading to Fawley Oil Refinery near Southampton.

As it approached its destination just east of the Isle of Wight on Sunday morning it was reported that seven stowaways on board had become violent.

Concerns over the crew’s welfare were raised at 10:04 GMT when the vessel was six miles off Bembridge, police said.

The crew members locked themselves in the ship’s citadel – secure area – and were safe.

A three-mile exclusion zone was put in place around the vessel.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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