“Special forces retake cargo ship after stowaways threatened staff” –The Telegraph (UK)

Special forces aboard the Grande Tema on Friday night

Special forces aboard the Grande Tema on Friday night , photo from Telegraph

The Telegraph, a UK news organization, brings a report of an attempted takeover of a container ship by four stowaways, apparently want-a-be immigrants, and their subsequent capture by British special forces.

Four stowaways who allegedly threatened the crew of a cargo ship with armed bars were detained by police on Friday night after an operation to secure the vessel was launched off the Kent coast.

The crew of Grande Tema, en route from Lagos in Nigeria to Tilbury in ­Essex, locked themselves on the bridge after the stowaways they had discovered broke free from a cabin and started to make their demands.

Read the entire report here.

This is the sort of operation where inserting law enforcement by helicopter makes sense. Fortunately no casualties, unlike some earlier vertical insertions.

Thanks to EagleSpeak for bringing this to my attention.


7 thoughts on ““Special forces retake cargo ship after stowaways threatened staff” –The Telegraph (UK)

  1. There has been an increase in illegals trying to cross the Channel to get to the UK. Saying that in coastal areas close to the Continent has been an ‘open secret’ that illegals in numbers have been smuggled across for decades. We do have the Border Agency craft but not enough of the 5 large craft two are in the Mediterranean ‘rescuing migrants’. And the Border Agency has acquired 4 large RHIBs with cabins from the Cayman Islands to supplement numbers. And the only police service that patrols the coast, after a fashion, is Hampshire; most police boats in the UK are dive support and there are that many of them. The MoD Police patrol around 3 main naval bases and the Met Police have a strong presence on the Thames. But compared to the French, Spanish, Belgium. Germany and any other country we have very little. Take Germany for example which has 8 customs cutter (including 2 hi-tech 1000 tonne SWATHs), 6 federal police boats, and the German states on the North Sea and Baltic seaboards have police (substantial) boats too.

    • These stowaways apparently boarded the ship in Nigeria, but yes, I understand your frustration. Perhaps they should transfer the River class batch ones to the Border Force or maybe create a US style CG.

      • Yes. I didn’t explain myself. Between the ‘call for help’ and the SBS deploying there was a gap I believe with no ‘security’ assets in the water with eyes on as it were. The only boats on the scene were RNLI and I am not sure if Essex Police were aboard those. Imagine if a similar incident had happened off say New York? The NYPD has 36 boats deploying from 4 base and the USCG has 2 patrols boats (and other hulls) in Sector New York.

    • It’s quite interesting and in a way depressing that a “Tier 1 country” such as the UK does not provide its Border Force with brand new vessels; HMC Protector and the four large RHIBs were all second-hand acquisitions.

      • Yes. Budgeting for capital intensive capabilities for policing is something HMG doesn’t like to do it seems.

        For example: The National Police Air Service has 19 helicopters (average cost £5m each) and 4 fixed wing aircraft to cover England and Wales. The government want to cut this back too.

      • One more thing don’t mention HMC Protector around Chuck. He might discover that the Finnish Border Guards’ OPV’s are outfitted for ASW and get a bit ‘huffy’…. 🙂 😉

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