Police arrested four stowaways last night who had been armed with metal bars and were trying to force the crew of a cargo ship in the Thames Estuary to make land before its destination.
After nearly 12 hours the standoff between the 27 crew members and the men ended when the stationary Grande Tema was boarded by police at about 11pm and brought to the port of Tilbury to dock.
Royal Navy helicopters were used and there were reports that the operation had involved the special forces. The stowaways, who were uninjured, were held under immigration law.
About 25 members from X Squadron of the Special Boat Service — sister service to the SAS — were brought up from their Dorset headquarters yesterday evening, The Sun reported.…