A FORMER Royal Navy officer today warned it “could be terrorists next” and called for tougher border security after stowaways stormed an oil tanker off the Isle of Wight coast.Special Boat Service commandos seized seven violent stowaways on an oil tanker in just seven minutes Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry warned that the next hijacking could involve terrorists A police boat is seen to the right of oil tanker Nave Andromeda Cops responded to an incident on the 42-tonne tankerCredit: Solent News
Anti-terror troops seized the vessel after the fugitives had allegedly threatened to kill the captain and his crew.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry warned that the next hijacking could involve terrorists.
He said the UK needs to “up our intelligence” and to approach these kind of issues in a “more sophisticated way”.
'COULD BE TERRORISTS NEXT'
Dr Parry said: “Next time it may not be just stowaways. It could be terrorists, it could be people smugglers or anything.
“We've got to approach this problem in a much more sophisticated way, we've got to up our intelligence.
“We've got to demand more from shipping companies and also from foreign countries with whom we do business.
“We're into a whole era now of mass migration and I think that covers a lot of things that we probably won't want to happen in our vicinity or in our country.”
Next time it may not be just stowaways. It could be terrorists, it could be people smugglers or anything."
Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry
“We're seeing more and more of these incidents occurring around the world and this is the second incident in our own waters in a couple of years now.”
In dramatic scenes last night, police boats and helicopters helped provide distractions as at least 16 SBS commandos took part in the swoop on the 42,000-tonne Nave Andromeda - due to dock in Southampton.
The captain of the ship, which left Nigeria on October 6, made a desperate mayday call at 10.30am, saying: "I'm trying to keep them calm but please send help."
The stowaways were quickly detained and handed to Hampshire Police for questioning after the dramatic scenes unfolded.
Last night the Ministry of Defence said initial reports confirmed that the crew — believed to number between 15 and 20 — were safe and well.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel authorised armed forces personnel to board the ship in response to a police request after cops raised concerns for the welfare of the crew.
Mr Wallace said: “I commend the hard work of the armed forces and police to protect lives and secure the ship.
“In dark skies, and worsening weather, we should all be grateful for our brave personnel. People are safe tonight thanks to their efforts.”
The tanker had been due to dock in Southampton yesterday morning after a 19-day voyage from Africa. But a mayday was sent out at around 10am.
The captain of the Nave Andromeda feared for his and his crew’s lives after the stowaways are said to have smashed glass on board and grabbed flares as weapons.
They turned hostile when crew members tried to lock them in a cabin.The vessel could easily be seen from the Isle of WightCredit: Sienna Anderson/pictureexclusive.com The ship was seized off the coast of the Isle of WightCredit: marinetraffic.com Nave Andromeda is seen in Portishead, Britain in this undated picture obtained from social mediaCredit: Reuters A coastguard helicopter circled the ship this afternoon
Isle of Wight tanker – Seven stowaways detained in 9 minutes by special forces after they ‘threatened to kill crew’