British police were called to the port of Southampton after reports of a group of stowaways having come off a vessel in port and trying to make their way out of the port.
The stowaway incident came days after a high-profile event in the English Channel and is being cited as another example of an ongoing problem.
It is reported that the police confirmed that the stowaways was a group of 11 people from Albania. One woman who was pregnant was taken to a local hospital and a minor, a 17-year old boy, was transferred to children’s services. The others are being detained and the incident is under investigation by the UK’s Border Force.
The latest incident began on October 28 after the car carrier Salome, operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, docked in the port of Southampton. The 43,800 dwt vessel arrived at around 7:30 am and commenced its operations. At midday, a group of 11 people was seen near one of the port’s gates trying to make their way into the city. The police were called and detained the group.
Τhis incident follows days after another event in the English Channel took place and is being cited as another example of an ongoing problem.
Up to now, it remains unclear how the stowaways came aboard. AIS data reports that the Salome was on a voyage from the US ports of Brunswick and Savannah, Georgia; Norfolk, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; and New York then crossing the Atlantic to Belgium, Germany, and France, before the call in Southampton.
The British Parliament commented on the incident, with Alan Whitehead, stating on the local newspaper the Southern Daily Echo, “I think this indicates stowaways have been getting onto ships for quite a long time and this is not a new thing.”
In addition, a spokesperson for Associated British Ports that operates the terminals in Southampton said, “We are aware that the incident involving stowaways on the vessel MV Salome has now been resolved. ABP continues to support relevant government agencies with their investigations and is working with the shipping company and owners as required.”