A team from Britain’s Special Boat Service has rescued a ship and its crew from a gang of potentially violent stowaways.
Authorities have confirmed that four men have now been arrested and detained by Essex Police under the Immigration Act.
The incident involved the 71,000-tonne Italian vessel – the Grande Tema– which was travelling from Lagos, Nigeria, and was off the coast of Margate when the stowaways attempted to take control of the ship.
Twenty-five Special Boat Service operatives fast-roped from helicopters on to the ship in an operation that lasting less than half an hour.
“The crew had found four stowaways and put them into a locked cabin,” explained Paul Kyprianou, a spokesman for the Grande Tema’sowner, Grimaldi Lines.