Seven suspects were arrested Sunday night during a British armed forces operation to seize an oil tanker in southern England after its crew was threatened by infiltrators.
This military intervention ended the crisis situation that had started about ten hours ago off the Isle of Wight.
The British Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter that “in response to a request from the police, the Ministers of Defense and the Interior authorized members of the Armed Forces to board a ship in the English Channel, in order to ensure the safety of lives and the safety of the ship that was subjected to a suspected piracy operation.”
“The armed forces took control of the ship and seven people were arrested,” she added.
Hampshire Police said in a statement that the 22 crew members were “fine and in good health”, noting that an investigation is underway to determine the full circumstances of the accident.
According to police, the security forces received an alert around 10:00 (GMT) Sunday morning about the alarming situation of the crew of the Neff Andromeda, which was located off the Isle of Wight in southern England.
And there were infiltrators on board the ship who threatened its crew, according to the same source.
The ship left Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, and was on its way to Southampton.
A exclusion zone has been set up around the ship since Sunday morning for security reasons.
Defense Minister Ben Wallace said the operation was carried out “under dark skies and unstable weather.” He praised the courage of the individuals who intervened to save the ship, saying on Twitter, “People are safe tonight thanks to their efforts.”
Interior Minister Priti Patel praised the “swift and decisive action of our police and armed forces who were able to regain control of the situation and ensure the safety of all those on board”.
The BBC quoted a source close to the shipping company that the intruders acted violently with the crew members who locked themselves in a safe part of the ship to protect themselves.
The Coast Guard mobilized two helicopters to assist the police, a spokeswoman said.
Local radio “Isle of White” initially reported a possible piracy attempt on board the Liberia-registered vessel carrying 42 tons of crude oil.
The United Kingdom had previously faced a similar incident. In December 2018, four infiltrators were arrested on a container ship from Nigeria after threatening the crew with iron rods.
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