Police Question Tanker Report of Three “Very Violent” Stowaways On Voyage From Conakry to Amsterdam; Unclear Where Stowaways Boarded
February 07: The product tanker HARALD MAERSK (IMO #9389502) was forced to interrupt her voyage from Conakry to Amsterdam (via Las Palmas and Algeciras) and make an emergency call at Vigo Spain, because of three allegedly “extremely aggressive”‘ stowaways discovered on board.
The three individuals were discovered shortly before 6 pm on Friday, February 7th. The captain of Harald Maersk, Adrian Panican, informed the Finisterre maritime control center of a problem on board that he described as “very serious”. Describing the stowaways as “very violent,” the captain requested permission to offload them onshore.
Captian Panican stressed that he was unable to control the situation and feared that it would become unsustainable. Sources aware of the incident say that the tone of the oil tanker was “desperate”.
The tanker was boarded by Spanish Immigration Police officers, who took control of the situation and stayed on board throughout the night of Feb 7-8.
The Vigo Police apparently have their doubts about the truth of the whole story. The police said that merchant ships are often ordered by owners to declare a dangerous situation on board after finding stowaways, in order to get rid of them, and the costs and complications that they bring.
Yesterday afternoon the Harald Maersk had not yet resumed its route and was expected to spend the night at the port.
Source: Port and Terminal