UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Monday that the crew of a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that was stormed by special forces on Sunday night after the vessel had been reportedly hijacked by stowaways are safe, and the police investigation is still ongoing.

“Of course, this is a live Police investigation and there is a limit to what I can say, but I can confirm the crew are safe and the operation to secure the vessel concluded successfully,” Hancock told Sky News broadcaster.

The UK Defence Ministry said that seven people were detained after the military took control of the Nave Andromeda oil tanker, which had been stopped by a group of stowaways off the coast of the Isle of Wight, in the English Channel.

The statement added that at p[olice request, Defence Minister Ben Wallace and Home Minister Priti Patel had authorised the special force unit to board the ship subject to “suspected hijacking.” 

According to the Isle of Wight Radio, the vessel left Lagos in Nigeria on October 6 and was supposed to dock in Southampton on Sunday morning. However, the Hampshire Police received reports that a number of stowaways were on board and had made verbal threats towards the crew.