A cargo ship has reportedly been ‘hijacked’ off the coast of the Isle of Wight.
According to reports, a number of stowaways were found on board the Nave Andromeda and attempted to take control.
Members of the crew are said to be sheltering in ‘certain points’ on the ship.
Isle of Wight Radio has stated that the Andromeda was supposed to dock at Southampton but was refused entry, and that a mayday signal was sent out at around 9am.
It’s understood that coastguard helicopter has been seen circling the Liberian-registered vessel and that an exclusion zone of five nautical miles has been set up.
A spokesperson for HM Coastguard confirmed that they were helping with the incident.
The statement read: “We are currently assisting Hampshire Constabulary with an incident on board a vessel situated off the Isle of Wight.
“The search and rescue helicopters from Lee on Solent and Lydd are in attendance.”
Local police added: “We are aware and dealing with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is situated south of the Isle of Wight.”
A statement from Hampshire Police said the incident was ‘ongoing’.
A spokesperson said: “We are aware and dealing with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is situated south of the Isle of Wight.”
The Royal Navy and the Special Boat Service (SBS) are also said to be involved in the operation.