AIS tracks suggest Nave Andromeda made four stops at sea between Lagos and British coast
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The Nave Andromeda made news this week when a suspected hijacking attempt onboard the oil tanker was thwarted by the Special Boat Service (SBS) off the coast of the Isle of Wight. Reports indicated that seven stowaways became increasingly hostile leading the crew of the Nave Andromeda to believe there was a direct threat to their safety and to the safety of the vessel.
The UK authorities received a safety alert on the morning of Sunday, 25th October 2020, when Nave Andromeda was 6 miles off the coast of the Isle of Wight heading to Southampton. The captain and crew locked themselves in the ship’s citadel, which is designed as a safe room, allowing the captain to maintain control of the ship and therefore preventing a hijacking. A middle of the night rescue operation, involving British forces and four Royal Navy helicopters lighting up the coastal towns, resulted in apprehending the seven stowaway suspects and are now in custody on the mainland. The ship was seen at anchor Monday, 26th October 2020 in Southampton.
Looking at the data, we are wondering when did the stowaways board the Nave Andromeda, at Lagos or at sea?
Early reports say they boarded at Lagos and that the Nave Andromeda had not stopped anywhere else. This is true, the tanker did not make any port stops between Lagos and the South coast. However, Spire Maritime AIS data indicates that the vessel stopped at sea several times around Senegal, Las Palmas, Nantes, and Brest.
A report from Lloyd’s list notes that the tanker may have originally tried to disembark the 7 Nigeria Stowaways in France but were refused permission by the authorities, however France has since denied this. This would explain the circling tracks offshore Nantes between October 20-21st, but what of the 3 other stops?
The dots on the plot below indicates all the areas where the Nave Andromeda stopped on its voyage to the UK; these are possible locations where the stowaways could have boarded the vessel:
The video below shows Nave Andromeda’s full voyage from Lagos to the Isle of Wight coast from October 3rd to 25th. We used a combination of Enhanced Satellite, Satellite, and Terrestrial messages to plot the ship’s path and where it stopped at sea using the form below, and you can download this data using the form below.
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