Steamship informed that it has become aware of a number of occurrences in recent months where stowaways have boarded vessels in European ports, with the intention of trying to reach Canada.
his suggests a potential new trend of immigrants already in Europe attempting to cross the Atlantic, presenting a risk that operators with vessels loading in Europe and bound for Canada should consider very seriously by taking all appropriate measures to prevent stowaways boarding their vessels.
Last year, Human Rights at Sea issued an Insight Briefing Note focused on stowaways, looking at the background to incidents at sea, the drivers for individuals to take such risks and the human consequences.
Stowaways continue to be found onboard commercial vessels causing disruption to the Master, crew, owner and the voyage.
In some circumstances they may be a direct threat to the safety, security and well-being of the crew and vessel, but in other circumstances they may be compliant, of no threat, seeking economic betterment, or fleeing persecution and human rights’ abuse.
As such, reasonable crew safety and security precautions must always be taken and it is vital to inform flag state, port(s) of transit and the port of destination that stowaways are onboard. Nonetheless, stowaways retain fundamental human rights and must be treated accordingly.