May 21, 2022 08:37

Albanian stowaways attempt to seize control of bulker off UK south coast

Image: Wikipedia.
Image: Wikipedia.

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Distressed captain of Chise Bulker makes call to authorities telling them his crew are being harmed after French ports refuse to allow stowaways to disembark.

Seven stowaways have attempted to seize control of the bulk carrier, Chise Bulker, in the English Channel, reports TradeWinds. The 33,400-dwt handysize, built in 2014, arrived off Portland on Tuesday after loading at the port of Rouen in France.

The stowaways were discovered after the ship set sail bound for the UK and the captain was heard broadcasting via VHF channel 16 that the vessel was heading to Le Havre in France to disembark the seven. Soon after, the captain was heard on the radio audibly distressed and “crying”.

He called for immediate assistance, saying his crew were being harmed and that the stowaways were trying to force themselves onto the bridge. The captain made it clear the situation was not under control.

The Chise Bulker then turned back to Portland and, according to AIS data, is now anchored in Weymouth Bay. TradeWinds understands that the situation stabilised when the vessel turned towards the UK.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “We received a call at around 5:40 am on Tuesday 9 February 2021 from the ambulance service in relation to a person reportedly in need of medical attention onboard a commercial vessel off the coast of Portland.

“Following enquiries, it was established there were reportedly a small number unidentified individuals that had been located onboard the vessel and none of them required any medical assistance.”

In an update to the story, Dorset Police told Trade Winds today: “The stowaways are believed to be Albanian nationals. All seven were arrested by police and escorted from the ship… They will be considered by the Border Force and UK Visas and Immigration for potential offences.

“The ship’s crew are being spoken to by officers and enquiries are ongoing to establish whether there are any reports of criminal offences. There were no reports of any injuries to the crew or the detainees involved in this incident.”

A similar incident occurred last October, when the Nave Andromeda was boarded by a group of Nigerian nationals.

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