Oil tanker ‘hijacked by stowaways’ off Isle of Wight after ship ‘issues mayday’

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An oil tanker has reportedly been hijacked off of the south coast of the Isle of Wight in what has been described as a "major incident."

HM Coastguard are understood to be circling the vessel, a crude oil tanker called the Nave Andromeda, with search and rescue helicopters.

Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed the force is "aware and dealing with an ongoing incident" on board the vessel but have not given more information about the ships circumstance.

The ship gave out a mayday signal at around 9am on October 25, and crew are said to be "sheltering" at certain points on the ship, Sky News has reported.

It added that "at least half a dozen stowaways" were reportedly discovered on the ship at some point on Sunday.

A statement from Hampshire Police said: "We are aware and dealing with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is situated south of the Isle of Wight."

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."

Nave Andromeda was supposed to dock in Southampton this morning, but was refused entry and Government officials are now involved.

A spokeswoman for Associated British Ports (ABP), which runs Southampton port, said they had not had any contact with the vessel and they had no further comment.

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