Men detained following ‘stowaway threats’ incident on container vessel

A convoy of services headed to Margate seafront Photo Dan Thompson

Police, Coastguard and Border officials were called to the “complex” incident in the Thames estuary at 9.15am yesterday (December 21).

Grimaldi Lines confirmed four migrants aboard the Italian registered Grande Tema threatened staff and crew  locked themselves on the Bridge.

The vessel had been circling erratically in the estuary throughout the day. It had been heading to Tilbury from Nigeria.

An operation launched last night included Margate and Ramsgate RNLI, Coastguard, police, Navy and the Naval special forces unit, the Special Boat Service.

The Coastguard helicopter was at the Manston airport site and a Royal Navy helicopter was also inbound along with the National Police Air Service. A convoy of services also headed to Margate, close to the Turner Contemporary.

At around 11pm last night the vessel was boarded by the SBS.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We have secured a vessel in the Thames Estuary.

The Grande Tema

“The vessel was boarded and secured shortly after 11pm on Friday, December 21 and will now be brought safely into dock at the Port of Tilbury.

“Four men have been detained under the Immigration Act.

“No-one on board the vessel has been injured.”

The Grande Tema is now alongside its berth.


    • I agree, especially as there were threats of violence. But in reality I fully expect to see them offered legal aid, and ultimately a council house, possibly in Thanet.

  1. It’s disgusting how much they have already cost this Country with all the services needed to go find and detain them. They should be treated like any british criminal committing offences, but then they should be deported as soon as possible and not allowed back. But that is asking too much isn’t it?

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