Two charged over failed hijacking of tanker off Isle of Wight

Nave Andromeda (Photo: com)

The Southampton Magistrates Court in the UK has charged two individuals in connection with a failed attempt to hijack an oil tanker in the English Channel off the Isle of Wight late last year.

Matthew John Okorie and Sunday Sylvester were two of the seven Nigerian nationals who had stowed away on the Liberian-flagged Nave Andromeda and had threatened to take over the ship on October 25, 2020.

The two defendants each face one charge of endangering a commercial ship, which is punishable under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1995.

Both Mr Okorie and Mr Sylvester are slated to appear before the Southampton Crown Court later this month. The five other stowaways remain on police bail and are under Border Force detention as the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The seven individuals are believed to have boarded Nave Andromeda undetected just prior to its departure from Lagos, Nigeria, on October 6. They were discovered by one crewmember as the tanker neared the Southampton coast on the morning (local time) of October 25, after which they began threatening to seize the ship.

Nave Andromeda‘s entire crew of 22 were able to retreat to the relative safety of the citadel, where they remained until the crisis was successfully resolved a little over ten hours later when UK special forces troops stormed the ship and arrested all seven hijackers.

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