Seven stowaways aboard an oil tanker in the English Channel were detained Sunday — suspected of trying to hijack the ship.
The UK military said it had seized control of the Liberian oil tanker Nave Andromeda anchored off the coast of the Isle of Wight — after fearing the crew wasn’t fully in charge anymore.
“I commend the hard work of the armed forces and police to protect lives and secure the ship,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.
“In dark skies and worsening weather, we should all be grateful for our brave personnel.”
The massive 42,000-ton vessel left Lagos, Nigeria on Oct. 6, had been expected to dock in Britain’s Southhampton port around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
However, the tanker instead began circling an area near the the Isle of Wight and someone on board sent out a distress call around 9 a.m. local time, the Telegraph reported.
The Coast Guard placed a three-nautical-mile restriction around the ship, which was moored in the English Channel.
The shipping newspaper Lloyd’s list said it is believed the stowaways boarded in Nigeria — and became violent after the crew discovered them and tried to lock them in a cabin.
A police spokesman said “verbal threats” had been made toward the crew, according to the BBC.
The British Ministry of Defense later confirmed the tanker’s crew was safe and well following the ship’s seizure.
With Post wires