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The vessel, which reportedly left the Nigerian port of Lagos earlier this month, did not reach its destination in time, and later send a distress signal while sailing past the Isle of Wight. The UK media reported that several stowaways – presumably from Nigeria – were discovered “sheltering at certain points on the ship.”
Police then confirmed that the stowaway passengers “made verbal threats towards the crew,” sparking concerns about the sailors’ welfare. Some reports suggested the stowaways tried to hijack the ship – something the lawyers for the vessel’s owners have denied.
Isle of Wight Radio reported that the police eventually requested military assistance to deal with the situation, even though the military initially said they were not involved in what they said was a police and coastguard operation.
“Special forces from Poole have been involved,” the outlet said, referring to the Special Boat Service – a naval Special Forces unit. However, there has been no official confirmation of any specific unit’s involvement thus far.
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