Following approval for the military’s assistance by that was approved by the Home Secretary Officers from Hampshire Police have worked with the Special Boat Service who stormed the 42,000-ton vessel under the cover of darkness. The raid took a total of nine minutes using Special Boat Service and Royal Navy divers.
Military helicopters have been flying to and from the vessel in the past 30 minutes as operators executed their mission. It comes after 2 Chinook helicopters landed at the SBS’ base in Dorset. 3 helicopters have now departed the area and are flying south.
No one is thought to have been injured in the incident, which has lasted just under 10 hours.
It’s thought the stowaways have been on board the Nave Andromeda for several days, possibly weeks, having boarded in Nigeria.
In the past few minutes the Ministry of Defence has said:
“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.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace MP has tonight said:
“I commend the hard work of the Armed Forces and police to protect lives and secure the ship. In dark skies, and worsening weather, we should all be grateful for our brave personnel. People are safe tonight thanks to their efforts.”