Two men charged over Nave Andromeda hijack incident

Two men were charged and appeared in court over the weekend as part of the ongoing investigation into the maritime security incident that took place on board the Nave Andromeda off the coast of the Isle of Wight on October 25.

Specifically, seven stowaways reportedly hijacked the vessel in the English Channel and threatened the crew who retreated into the ship’s citadel for safety reasons.

The vessel was taken over by the UK Armed Forces following a request from the police on the same evening. Having gained control of the vessel, the armed forces detained seven individuals. The crew members were reported to be safe and well.

The two men, Matthew John Okorie, 25 and Sunday Sylvester, 22, have been charged with an offence relating to conduct endangering ships under S.58 Merchant Shipping Act 1995, Hampshire Constabulary said.

They appeared before Southampton Magistrates Court on Saturday morning and have been remanded in custody. They will next appear at Southampton Crown Court on January 29, 2021.

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Five other men, who were arrested on suspicion of seizing or exercising control of a ship by use of threats or force, remain on police bail until 25 January 2021 whilst Hampshire Constabulary’s investigation continues. They are currently detained under Border Force powers.

The Nave Andromeda is owned by Greek shipping company Navios. It was en route from Lagos in Nigeria to Fawley oil refinery on Southampton Water when it was hijacked.