MV NAVE ANDROMEDA WAS NOT IN NIGERIA-NPA
Controversy Trail Vessel Movement
In other to ascertain the presence or otherwise of the controversial vessel MV Nave Andromeda, which reportedly left Nigeria some twenty days ago, we contacted management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, as well as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Whereas NIMASA has not made any official statement concerning the vessel, NPA told us exclusively that the Vessel, after checks on their charts and records was not captured as having visited any of Nigerian Ports.
The General Manager, Corporate Communication, NPA, Engr. Adams Jatto in response to our enquiry said “We have investigated the vessel MT “Nave Andromeda” and below is our findings:
“The vessel was not declared in any of the ports. The vessel did not apply for e-SEN (Electronic Ship Entry Notice ) in the SEN offices of the Authority. The vessel did not report her arrival to NPA neither was The vessel attended to by NPA as the Authority was not informed so she did not berth in any of the Ports”.
The Special Forces responded to a request for help from Hampshire police in the early evening on Sunday, gaining control of the Nave Andromeda vessel in nine minutes after it was feared the crew was no longer fully in charge.
“Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained. Police investigations will now continue. Initial reports confirm the crew are safe and well,” the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement.
The 228-metre tanker had been expected to dock in Southampton on Sunday to pick up a cargo of petrol, but its course in the Channel became erratic, prompting calls for an intervention as it passed the south-east edge of the Isle of Wight.
Speaking on the development Captain Warrendi Enisuoh said, “From my experience at sea, even a stowaway has rights when discovered. You have to feed them, you can give them limited work for safety reasons, You have to declare them to the authorities, You are not allowed to treat them as Prisoners or criminals any evidence of such treatment can result in the ship and or Captain being detained.
“I once carried a Jamaican stowaway. I gave him my clothes to wear at sea as he unknowingly boarded without a bag”! Captain Warendi said
“By law, a stowaway becomes part of your crew. You have to respect and treat him humanely until you hand him over to the authorities. You can only lock him up in Port after consulting the authorities and there’s an instruction to do so”.
Another maritime stakeholder versed in such matter insisted that “by law, a stowaway is like a statutory tenant while he is on the vessel. A statutory tenant is one whose tenancy expired but had all the rights and privileges of a normal tenant and protections of the law. The only difference is that the stowaway got onboard illegally. He has the right to be treated humanely, with the dignity and respects accorded the crew of the ship”
The Nave Andromeda is understood to be managed by Inchcape and owned by Greek operator Navios Maritime Holdings. The vessel was reported to have made two stops on its voyage, anchoring off the Canary Islands and off the French coast just south of Saint-Nazaire in Brittany.
When and how she got to Nigeria where the stowaways allegedly boarded the vessel is an issue that needs to be resolved by the IMO.