UK’s MOB Callout Turns into Case of Illegal Immigration

MOB search
Angle RNLI Lifeboat led a massive multi-agency search Sunday night and again Monday (Angle RNLI)

Published Dec 5, 2023 6:15 PM by The Maritime Executive


British authorities now believe that a man overboard search commenced on Sunday evening along the coast of Wales was instead a case of illegal immigration. The report prompted a massive multi-agency search on Sunday and again on Monday, only for the authorities to now report they arrested the individual onshore in the villages in Pembrokeshire on the coast of Wales.

The call-out began Sunday, December 3 when the crew aboard an unidentified crude oil tanker requested assistance saying it had reason to believe a crewmember had gone overboard. The tanker was at Valero’s Pembroke Oil Terminal located on the Milford Haven Waterway. The crew reported that they had found indications that someone was overboard and had searched the vessel. They reported an unidentified crewmember was missing.

HM Coastguard confirmed that it received the call that someone was missing from the tanker and likely in the water. They dispatched the RNLI lifeboat from Angle to start the search. A police boat also joined in the search and the lifeboat reports after making “best speed” to the scene they also launched their inflatable Y boat. A Coastguard rescue helicopter also was sent to assist with the search but later turned back due to heavy rain which made it unsafe for it to continue to participate in the search.

The lifeboat reports carrying out multiple legs searching the area around the vessel as well as along the coastline and waterways. The crew utilized its searchlights, image intensifiers, and thermal imaging equipment to aid in the search, all to no avail. After being in the area from around 10:00 p.m. local time and despite the heavy rains the search continued until 2:00 a.m., when the lifeboat was prepared for its next call.


Angle RNLI search over 32 miles of shoreline and around the vessel in two searches despite heavy rain (Angle RNLI)


On Monday, with the weather having improved, the lifeboat was again dispatched to conduct an additional search of the area. They report completing a search covering 32 miles of shoreline before the crew and lifeboat were stood down.

Later that night the police report arresting the crewmember on shore. He is said to be in good condition and without further details the police report the crewmember is being held on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. The case has been handed over to the Border Force.