Oil tanker surrounded after reports of attempted hijacking off coast of England

Authorities have surrounded an oil tanker after reports of an attempted hijacking off the coast of the Isle of Wight, according to news reports.

The massive 42,000-ton Liberian oil tanker Nave Andromeda was due to arrive in Britain’s Southhampton port Sunday afternoon but was being contained off the coast of the island after a distress call around 9 a.m. local time, the Telegraph reported.

“We are aware and dealing with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is situated south of the Isle of Wight,” Hampshire police told the outlet. “The search and rescue helicopters from Lee on Solent and Lydd are in attendance.”

The 748-foot tanker, built in 2011, sailed from Lagos, Nigeria, about two weeks ago.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested some stowaways attempted to take over the ship, the Guardian reported.

The crew is reportedly sheltered somewhere on board after putting out the distress call, according to the Mirror.

The tanker is now moored in the English Channel while the Coast Guard had placed a five-nautical-mile restriction around the vessel, which is about four miles off the coast of the island, The Sun reported.

“The relevant units will be looking at options as to what we can do,” Bob Seely, a local member of Parliament, told the outlet.

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