Panama’s Ship Registry provides guidance on operators regarding ways to implement the necessary security measures to prevent stowaway’s access either at sea or on arrival. As the guidance says, when a stowaway is discovered, this is an indication of a failure in the implementation of the Ship Security Plan (SSP).
Namely, when calling at port and as long as they stay in a port with a risk of a stowaway embarkation, Panamanian flagged vessels are recommended to implement the following preventive measures:
- All doors, hatches and means of access to holds or stores, which are not used during the ship’s stay in port should be locked;
- Access points to the ship should be kept to a minimum and be adequately secured;
- Areas seaward of the ship should be adequately secured;
- Adequate deck watch should be kept;
- Boardings and disembarkations should, where possible, be tallied by the ship’s crew or, after agreement with the master, by others;
- Adequate means of communication should be maintained;
- At night, adequate lighting should be maintained both inside and along the hull.
[smlsubform prepend=”GET THE SAFETY4SEA IN YOUR INBOX!” showname=false emailtxt=”” emailholder=”Enter your email address” showsubmit=true submittxt=”Submit” jsthanks=false thankyou=”Thank you for subscribing to our mailing list”]
In case a stowaway is found on board a ship, then the Master and the Shipowner must:
- Determine immediately the port of embarkation of the stowaway;
- Establish the identity, including the nationality/citizenship and residence of the stowaway;
- Prepare a statement containing all available information relevant to the stowaway for presentation to the appropriate authorities at the port of embarkation, the next port of call, flag State and any subsequent ports. In this respect should be used and completed the following STOWAWAYS INCIDENT REPORT ( See Annex);
- Ensure that stowaways are not forced to work on board the ship, except in emergency situations or in relation to the stowaway’s accommodation on board;
- Ensure that stowaways are treated humanely, consistent with the basic principles;
- Comply with any removal directions made by the competent national authorities at the port of disembarkation;
- Cover any applicable costs related to the removal, detention, treatment and disembarkation of the stowaway in accordance to the legislation of the States which may be involved;
- Not depart from the planned voyage to seek the disembarkation of a stowaway discovered on board the ship after it has left the territorial waters of the State where the stowaways embarked unless permission to disembark the stowaway has been granted by the public authorities of the State to whose port the ship deviates, or repatriation has been arranged elsewhere with sufficient documentation and permission given for disembarkation.