UK special forces ended a ten-hour stand-off with stowaways who attempted to highjack a tanker off the southern coast of the UK.
The stowaways had become violent towards the crew once having been discovered. All twenty two members of the crew are safe and unharmed and seven stowaways, believed to be Nigerian are now in the custody of the Hampshire Police.
The Liberian-registered tanker, Nave Andromeda was stormed late on Sunday 25 October off the coast of the Isle of Wight.
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement:
“In response to a police request, the Defence Secretary and Home Secretary authorised Armed Forces personnel to board a ship in the English Channel to safeguard life and secure a ship that was subject to suspected hijacking.
Armed forces have gained control of the ship and seven individuals have been detained. Police investigations will now continue. Initial reports confirm the crew are safe and well.”
The operation involved members of the Special Boat Service, a number of naval helicopters and a frigate on standby.