Four stowaways in their twenties have been detained and charged with affray after special forces of the Royal Navy stormed Grimaldi’s vessel Grand Tema in the Thames Estuary, close to the borders of Essex and Kent, amid fears that the men might pose a danger to the crew’s safety.
The Essex police confirmed the incident citing a call from the ship’s crew which had been received at 9.15 a.m. on Friday, December 21.
According to various media reports, the men were armed with iron bars and were demanding to be taken closer to the shore. However, the crew managed to lock themselves into a room for safety reasons until the special forces came on board.
“The vessel was boarded and secured shortly after 11 p.m. on December 21,” the police said, adding that the ship was brought into dock at the Port of Tilbury. “Four men have been detained under the Immigration Act.”
The police said that the incident was not related to terrorism or piracy.
The charged men are all due to appear at Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 24. The police added that no-one on board the vessel had been injured in the incident.
World Maritime News is yet to receive a statement on the matter from Grimaldi.
World Maritime News Staff