‘Military’ called to oil tanker near Isle of Wight as stowaways make ‘threats’

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The British military has been called in to assist as authorities deal with an "ongoing incident" on board an oil tanker off of the south coast of England, it has been reported.

The ship Nave Andromeda gave out a mayday signal at around 9am on October 25 after its crew reportedly took refuge following the discovery of stowaways on board.

Military assistance has now been called for to help authorities deal with the situation, report BBC and Sky News.

The incident is said to have started after the stowaways made "verbal threats" towards the crew members, Isle of Wight Radio reports.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary told the radio station: ”At 10.04am today (October 25) concerns were raised to police for the welfare of crew on board the Nave Andromeda – a vessel situated approximately six miles off the coast of Bembridge, Isle of Wight.

“The vessel had been travelling in the direction of Southampton.

“It was reported that a number of stowaways were on board, and they had made verbal threats towards the crew. No one has been reported injured.

“An exclusion zone, with a three mile radius, is currently in place near the vessel.

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“Police are currently working closely with our partners, including the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Border Force, to bring this incident to a safe conclusion.”

The station adds that flashlights can reportedly be seen onboard the vessel.

Bembridge RNLI has been deployed for medical assistance should it be needed and is currently understood to be hanging back awaiting further instructions.

A UK Chamber of Shipping spokesperson said: "We are aware of an incident onboard the Nave Andromeda off the Isle of Wight and are in contact with the relevant authorities.

"We believe it is likely to be related to stowaways on board but are awaiting more information."

A HM Coastguard spokesman said: "We are currently assisting Hampshire Constabulary with an incident on board a vessel situated off the Isle of Wight.

"The search and rescue helicopters from Lee on Solent and Lydd are in attendance."

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