SBS Commandos Storm Hijacked Cargo Ship

Four men have been detained under the Immigration Act after police, backed by special forces, boarded a cargo ship in the Thames Estuary...

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British security forces have stormed and taken control of an Italian cargo ship off the coast of Essex in south east England, on which stowaways had threatened crew. 

Four men have since been detained after police boarded a cargo ship in the Thames Estuary.

The ship, The Grand Tema, set off from Lagos in Nigeria eleven days ago.

The crew were forced to barricade themselves on the bridge of the vessel after being threatened with iron bars.

They were said to be calling on the crew to navigate closer to the coast.

Essex Police say the ship will be brought into the port of Tilbury.

Paul Kyprianou, a spokesman for Grimaldi Lines, told Sky News on Friday morning:

"We found four stowaways on the vessel.

"The vessel was coming from Nigeria and was bound to Tilbury, and those four stowaways were in the cabin, and today they managed to escape from the cabin and they started threatening the crew, requesting the master of the vessel navigating very close to the coast.

"That request was probably because they wanted to jump and reach the British coast.

"The crew reacted and they locked themselves in the bridge of the vessel and so they are safe, we haven't had any injuries."

The force said the ship was secure and there were no reports of injuries.