Stowaways hijacked tanker Nave Andromeda in British Channel

Glad it has been resolved. These strike teams are very quick and effective.I am sure the stowaways never knew what hit them,


Mr Beale said the individuals were detained after they were met with “overwhelming force”.

Yes, you are right. That’s the only way to go, hit them hard.


I mentioned on another post an unannounced “Practice Drill” on a Maersk container ship in the Suez Canal… It was over very,very quickly.

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Stupid thing was directly on our course line between Portsmouth and the Alderney Race, had to steam around the 3 mile exclusion zone.

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The military operation on NaveAndromeda tanker has been successfully completed. There were 2 Royal Navy wildcat helicopters and 2 Navy Merlin Mark 4 helicopters and a SBS team deployed for the operation. Crew all safe in the citadel. The ship came from Lagos in Nigeria. It was the intention of the 7 detained Nigerian stowaways to ask for asylum on arrival in the U.K.

The Nave Andromeda is surrounded from all sides. Photo British Navy.

So according to the article, the crew and owners “knew about the presence of stowaways for some time”. Why does it seem like this was some sort of a surprise for the UK government? Every port clearance form I’ve ever filled out asks if stowaways are onboard. This sounds like they showed up and then told Southampton VTS there is a laden tanker with no one in command 5 miles off your coastline.

Something just doesn’t make sense. Crazy story though.

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I doubt that this was a hijack, more for some reason aggressive behaviour just before landfall. That can be concluded from the following statement in this article of the Mirror Online.

The captain of the Nave Andromeda put out a ‘desperate’ call for rescue because he ‘feared for his life’, it was claimed today.

Also: made threats to kill the crew.

From personal experience I know that stowaways hardly carry food and water with them when they sneak on board. Most of the time they come out at sea, by necessity, within one day. I never saw any aggression, on the contrary.

They were always eager to work on board for their living but that normally was not allowed by the Owners. Of course the Owners and authorities at the port of destination were radioed about the situation so that they could meet the ship on arrival. If you didn’t do that you were in real trouble.

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I’m guessing everything was ok until the crew attempted to sequester them in preparation for inspection on arrival. The stowaways may have rebelled when they realized they weren’t going to be allowed to walk down the gangway scot free in the UK.


Not too many places to hide on a tanker. A little more to this story that doesn’t pass the smell test.

Lifeboats were a popular hiding place. Sometimes they ate the emergency rations… Speaking about the smell test. They also shitted in the lifeboats. We had them clean it out.

On some ships they padlocked the door but that was taken off again because the key probably was lost or unfindable if needed… It was proposed to lock the door only in port but that was not good enough. So the lifeboats were always checked at departure time. If we found such passengers in the boats they were hosed out.

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You have sailed many more places than me on a much different vessel… All I can say is yuk, we have picked up refugees during the Cuban crisis/evacuation. I know they were desperate, but haven’t experienced stowaways as you have…Some of the container tows had a few, but never had that occur on a large oil barge. We didn’t have lifeboats, just rafts. Only places they could go would be fore and aft rakes and anchor compartment… Wouldn’t be engine room, the snipes are very observant. And definitely not crews quarters. I think the stowaways knew we would be a bad choice for their endeavor.

What a horrible behavior!
With today’s officially published ‘good thinking’, You would have been hanged…

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One country I went to we removed all brass fittings from the topsides and stowed them in the forecastle with all spare lines and WELDED the door shut. From previous experience locks were never enough. Only one entrance to accomodation with 24 hour manning.
I had one stowaway on a trip to the US once, he was dressed in the previous ports coveralls and had boarded the ship using a fork hoist. He had some food and water and had remained hidden for 4 days.
As master it is very important that one follows the correct procedure and one of the best guides is the Gaard Guide to masters. There are legal reasons why the stowaway must not be put to work.
We were boarded from the pilot cutter of San Francisco by a heavily armed USCG boarding party and FBI and CIA. They could have taken over a small country. I was then informed that he was a bank robber and was wanted by Interpol so fortunately he was taken off my hands.

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I was boarded once in law enforcement looking for a fugitive murderer that reportedly was posing/hiding as a tugboat cook. Why they picked my vessel is still a mystery to me. The officials were rather thorough checking our credentials, almost rude when i smiled and told them " That guy isn’t here"… His profile showed up on “Americas Most Wanted” later on. Was not on my vessel. I did however have an asst engineer years before that was bothered when I asked where he got the tattoos on each of ten fingers. My radar went up when he tried to hide them whenever in my presence. He was a nice, entertaining fellow that is now doing a rather long term in prison for molesting his own kids. A third timer. You just never know who falls through the cracks. Much harder these days, but there are a few still out there.

As I understand it the master and the owners of one ship learned the hard way because a stowaway, who was allowed to work, forced an accident, falling down a hold ladder and then claimed insurance money while also accusing the master that he was threatened to work against his wishes. Modern slavery…

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Speaking of stowaways:

Translation: Blind passengers lived for ten days at the helm of Norwegian oil tanks

Also, that name? On a norwegian ship?!
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I thought I had and heard interesting Navy sea stories but those cannot hold a candle to these!

My old First told me that he’s also found people in the rudder trunk space, when they were in ballast, obviously.

Our plan was always to put stowaways in the suez cabin, so they couldn’t come inside. But when we were in the Med, the plan was to put up shelter on the deck for refugees/migrants if we had to rescue people. What a sight that would have been: a little refugee camp in among all the pipework.