British special forces stormed a crude oil tanker in the English Channel, Sunday evening, employing what the UK government stated was "overwhelming force".
The 16 strong unit from the Special Boat Service's 'Maritime Counter-Terrorism Team' freed the 22 crew members of the Liberian registered crude oil tanker 'Nave Andromeda' and detained 7 'hijackers', with no casualties in an incredibly fast operation that lasted only nine minutes from start to finish.
The SBS operation was supported by two 'Wildcat' and two 'Merlin' helicopters and the warship HMS Richmond.
It appears that the 288m long 'Nave Andromeda' has sailed from Nigeria and was heading for Southampton, on the south coast of the UK when it began moving erratically whilst in UK waters off the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight.
The 'hijackers' appear not to have been terrorists, but Nigerians who have stowed away onboard the ship whilst it was docked in Lagos, Nigeria. They were then found onboard the tanker by the crew and became violent. It s believed that the seven Nigerians involved were intending to reach the UK as stow-aways in order to claim asylum upon arrival.