Dramatic moment captain of oil tanker stormed by stowaways maydays for help
A recording reveals the dramatic moment the captain of the oil tanker that was stormed by stowaways maydays for help.
The Nave Andromeda, which was due to dock in Southampton yesterday, ‘put out rescue call’ after a group ‘threatened to kill the crew’.
Seven people who were on board were taken into custody.
In the 21-second recording, the skipper can be heard desperately asking for ‘immediate assistance’ after stowaways on board turned against the crew.
During the call – made yesterday morning to the authorities on an open radio channel – the captain says he is trying to ‘keep them calm’ but some of the intruders were outside the ship’s bridge.
He said: “The stowaways go outside, I see four person port side, midship, near to the manifold, and I have two of them starboard side on the bridge but cannot coming inside.
“I try to keep them calm but I need immediately, immediately agency assistance.”
In other radio messages, the captain is said to have claimed he ‘feared for his life’ as the drama unfolded off the coast of the Isle of Wight on Sunday morning.
A source on the island said: “The captain clearly stated he feared for their lives and needed urgent assistance, they needed rescuing.”
They added: “It was desperation, you could hear the fear in his voice.”
The mayday was sent after seven stowaways – thought to be from Nigeria – rebelled against the crew and threatened them six miles off the coast of Bembridge.
The vessel had been travelling in the direction of Southampton, Hants, having sailed from Lagos.
Last night the boat was stormed by commandos from the Special Boat Service. Seven people were detained by police while the 22 crew were declared uninjured.
Four helicopters flew the Special Boat Service out from their headquarters in Poole, Dorset.
They performed the rescue and the all clear was given just after 7.30pm.
Seven individuals were detained after they were met with “overwhelming force”.
The tanker is currently docked in Southampton while the police inquiry continues.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed: “In response to a police request, the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary authorised Armed Forces personnel to board a ship in the English Channel to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking.
“Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained. Police investigations will now continue. Initial reports confirm the crew are safe and well.”
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