British police said on Sunday they were dealing with an incident aboard an oil tanker near the coast of the Isle of Wight, an island off the southern coast of England, and British media said a small number of stowaways had been found.
Two sources with knowledge of the situation said the vessel was the tanker Nave Andromeda.
Sky News said up to seven stowaways had been discovered on board, and broadcast live images of the ship. The BBC cited lawyers for the ship’s owners as saying it was “100% not a hijacking”. Reuters has contacted the owners for comment.
Police did not immediately confirm details of the incident to Reuters. Britain’s interior ministry, which is responsible for border control, did not have any immediate comment.
The local police force said in a statement, “We are aware and dealing with an ongoing incident on board a vessel which is situated south of the Isle of Wight”.
The coastguard agency said search and rescue helicopters were attending the incident but did not give details.