Israeli Navy boards ship sailing from Turkey arresting alleged arsonist

The Israeli Navy on Sunday boarded a ship sailing from Mersin, Turkey to Haifa, Israel on Sunday after the ship’s crew alerted port authorities of a disturbance on board at around 3 a.m., Hareetz reported.

According to Haaretz, a stowaway was discovered on board as he attempted to set the vessel on fire. The ship’s crew alerted port authorities and, according to some reports, locked themselves in the bridge for safety as the man caused disruption until the Israeli Navy boarded the ship. The Israeli Navy searched the ship for several hours and has since arrested the man.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) issued a statement and said the incident was taken under control in cooperation with the Israeli police and in coordination with the ship’s crew. The suspect was handed over to the Israeli police forces.

According to Marinetraffic.com, the cargo ship MSC Canberra, owned by MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and sailing under a Panamanian flag, left Mersin port in southeast Turkey on Friday.

The ship’s cargo was categorised as “Hazard D (Recognisable)”, which according to the international marine pollution regulations indicates “minor hazard to either marine resources or human health if discharged into the sea”.

MSC Canberra was scheduled to enter the Haifa port on Monday, and is currently anchored close to the shore.