The captain of the ship had reported that a group of stowaways on board was threatening the crew. Ten hours later, special forces brought the standoff to a close.
LONDON — Under the cover of darkness, British commandos slid down ropes from four Navy helicopters hovering over the English Channel and onto the deck of an oil tanker.
It had been 10 hours since the captain of the ship, the Nave Andromeda, had called for assistance after stowaways onboard threatened violence against the tanker’s crew as it approached shore. Within minutes, the operation off the coast of the Isle of Wight had ended and seven stowaways were in custody.
The Ministry of Defense called the situation on Sunday a “suspected hijacking.” But a representative for the company that manages the vessel said it was not a hijacking and that the captain had remained in control of the tanker.
The BBC reported that members of the Special Boat Service had rappelled down ropes from four Royal Navy helicopters over the vessel on Sunday evening, and that the stowaways were believed to be seeking asylum in Britain.
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