Police and bomb squad close harbour to storm yacht and arrest two men

Police and bomb squad close harbour to storm yacht and arrest two men on suspicion of drug trafficking amid claims an explosive is on board

  • Police have closed off the entry to Newlyn Harbour in Cornwall 
  • Two men arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking, and their vessel seized
  • Locals say they have been told the Royal Navy Bomb squad is on its way
  • Police are refusing to confirm whether an explosive device is reason for closure

One of the largest fishing ports in the UK has been closed by police following a suspected drugs bust on a yacht – amid rumours a bomb may be on board.

Police have closed off the entry to Newlyn Harbour in Cornwall and the harbour master has said that no ships may enter without permission.

The closure comes following a National Crime Agency operation on Thursday when a yacht was intercepted.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking, and their vessel is currently residing in the harbour in Newlyn, near Penzance, Cornwall.

The harbour master said the on-going closure was for ‘public safety’ reasons.

Police and the NCA are refusing to confirm whether an explosive device is the reason for the closure but pictures show the Royal Navy Bomb squad at the scene.


Two men were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking, and their vessel (pictured) is currently residing in the harbour in Newlyn, near Penzance, Cornwall

Police and the NCA are refusing to confirm whether an explosive device is the reason for the closure but pictures show the Royal Navy Bomb squad at the scene

Ann Watkins, 72, landlady of the nearby Tolcarne Inn, said: ‘My son was buying fish from Stevenson’s Fish Market and they told him that the harbour was closed because there was a yacht carrying drugs and a bomb in there.’

Local resident Chris Oates said he has also spoken to a crewman onboard a vessel that is inside the exclusion zone who said there were fears of a bomb.

He said: ‘He told he can’t get near the boat and the bomb squad is due at 3pm. His engine is running in gear and they won’t let him shut down.’


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The NCA said in a statement: ‘As part of an National Crime Agency-led operation, the Border Force cutter HMC Vigilant intercepted a sailing yacht of the south west coast of Cornwall and escorted the vessel into Newlyn harbour where it arrived yesterday.

‘Two men have been arrested for drug trafficking offences and are now being questioned by NCA officers, who are leading the investigation.

‘As a result of this the port of Newlyn has had to be closed temporarily for public safety reasons.

The harbour master said the on-going closure was for ‘public safety’ reasons

Newlyn Harbour, one of the largest fishing ports in the UK, located in Cornwall


The harbourmaster for Newlyn posted on Facebook this morning: ‘Unfortunately I have had to close the port of Newlyn for public safety’

‘Border Force and NCA officers, supported by Devon and Cornwall Police, remain at the scene.’

The harbourmaster for Newlyn posted on Facebook this morning: ‘Unfortunately I have had to close the port of Newlyn for public safety.

‘Under no circumstances are vessels to approach or move within Newlyn jurisdiction without my approval. This is for the safety of all our users.’

Mike Collier, who runs a boat trip business, said: ‘I was on the boat and let go of the rope to go when a woman came and said I wasn’t allowed and had to get off the boat.

‘I said, “who’s decided that” and she told me I had to speak to the harbour master.

‘We’ve heard rumours about a bomb but whether it’s right or not, who knows. The latest concern to me is that last night it was brought in and it sat there being looked at for 32 hours until this morning and now they decided every one had to get out the harbour.

‘But what about everyone that was asleep in their boats last night?

‘I can’t go out today so I’ve lost about £300, I know that’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but I run a small business, it means a lot to me.’

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