Tanker stowaways: ‘Hijacking’ ends after special forces storm ship
Seven people were detained when military forces stormed a tanker suspected to have been hijacked off the Isle of Wight.
Sixteen members of the Special Boat Service (SBS) ended a 10-hour standoff which started when stowaways on board the Liberian-registered Nave Andromeda reportedly became violent.
The stowaways, believed to be Nigerians seeking UK asylum, were handed over to Hampshire Police on Sunday night.
The 22 crew members were found safe.
The ship later docked in Southampton.
BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said British forces descended on to the vessel by rope from four Royal Navy helicopters after nightfall.
“The seven stowaways – believed to be Nigerians seeking asylum in the UK – were detained and handed over to Hampshire Police,” he said.
Navios Tanker Management, operator of the crude oil tanker, said the master of the vessel became concerned for the safety of the crew “due to the increasingly hostile behaviour of the stowaways” who had “illegally boarded” in Lagos, Nigeria.