The Hampshire Police Force said Sunday its officers “are aware of an accident and are dealing with it” on board a ship south of the Isle of Wight.
According to PA Media, the vessel in question is the Liberia-registered Nave Andromeda crude oil tanker.
Details of the accident remain unconfirmed. But Britain’s Palestinian Authority News Agency pointed to reports of an attempted kidnapping by stealth travelers.
Local lawmaker Bob Sealy indicated that the ship may now be under the control of stealth travelers, during an interview with Sky News on Sunday.
“ Radio Isle of Wight reports – and they have very good Coast Guard communications – that despite being told not to drop the anchor, the captain threw anchor and the ship may now be under the control of stowaways on the ship, ” Sealy said.
Two coast guard helicopters have been seen flying around the ship, according to Isle of Wight Radio, which also reported that a three-mile exclusion zone has been set up around the area south of Sandown, on the island’s east coast.
According to marine traffic data, the tanker departed from Lagos, Nigeria on October 6 and was scheduled to dock at Southampton – on the southern coast of England – at 10:30 a.m. local time (6:30 local time) on Sunday morning.
Instead, the ship made several winding routes off the Isle of Wight in a few hours.