Seven stowaways arrested for hijacking attempt on bulker in English Channel
Authorities in the UK have arrested seven people in connection with a failed attempt to seize control of a cargo vessel in the English Channel earlier this week.
The suspects, all believed to be Albanian nationals, were discovered on board the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Chise Bulker as it was nearing the coast of South England on the morning (local time) of Tuesday, February 9.
The vessel departed Rouen, France, the day before on a scheduled voyage to Veracruz, Mexico.
Authorities first learned of the incident after the ship’s captain sent out a request for medical assistance. However, it was later confirmed that no one on board was in need of medical assistance and that a confrontation had taken place between the crew and the stowaways.
Chise Bulker‘s captain was instructed to dock in the Port of Portland in Dorset, where local police boarded the vessel and took the stowaways into custody. No injuries have been reported among the crew and the suspects.
The UK Border Force and UK Visas and Immigration have launched an investigation to determine whether there were any offences committed.
Meanwhile, Chise Bulker has resumed its scheduled voyage to Veracruz and is expected to arrive there at the end of February.