Hijacked Oil Tanker Nave Andromeda Stormed By British Special Forces, Stowaways Detained
British Special Services were called upon to rescue a hijacked oil tanker off the U.K. coast in the early hours of Sunday, October 25.
According to reports from The Guardian, seven suspects were detained on the vessel following a request from local authorities for specialist armed services to regain control of the hijacked ship.
The British Special Boat Service responded and apprehended the hijackers onboard within nine minutes of receiving the call.
The oil tanker, the Nave Andromeda, was due to dock at Southampton on Sunday afternoon to load cargo, but it soon emerged that the 22 onboard workers were no longer in control of the tanker after it was seen sailing in unpredictable patterns just off the coast of the Isle of Wight. Hampshire Police requested military assistance to regain control after the stowaways became violent.
U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace authorized the Special Boat Service to respond so they could prevent the situation from escalating.
Hampshire Police confirmed that the seven stowaways were apprehended and all members of the crew were safe after the response from the British Special Boat Service.
“At 10.04 am today (25 October) concerns were raised to the police for the welfare of crew onboard the vessel, which was situated approximately six miles off the coast of Bembridge. The vessel had been travelling in the direction of Southampton, having sailed from Lagos in Nigeria. It was reported that a number of stowaways were on board, and they had made threats towards the crew. Following a multi-agency response by police with support from the military and other emergency service partners, seven people were detained by police,” the statement read.
The hijackers were reportedly asylum seekers trying to enter the U.K. and were believed to be hiding on the ship since it left Lagos, Nigeria, on October 6.
The suspects reacted aggressively once discovered by the workers on the Nave Andromeda, who attempted to lock them in a cabin, according to reports from the BBC.
After they were detained by the military, the suspects were transferred to the custody of the Hampshire Police for further investigation into the incident.
Tensions in Nigeria have been rising recently following the aggressive nature of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), who have been criticized across the globe for their treatment of Nigerian citizens. As The Inquisitr recently reported, celebrities have responded to the protests against SARS, as international condemnation of the Nigerian police continues.