The Panama Maritime Authority issued a Circular to alert Shipowners, operators, masters, companies of Panamanian flagged vessels to implement the security measures needed to prevent stowaways from entering, either at sea or on arrival. When a stowaway is discovered, it reflects that the vessel failed to implement its Ship Security Plan.
In its latest Safety Scenario, the Swedish Club focuses on a case regarding three stowaways. Namely, the crew of a container ship that had left from Lagos discovered three people sitting on the rudder. The stowaways had used a small rowing boat to reach the vessel and had managed to climb up the rudder and then into the rudder trunk.
The Israeli Navy has proceeded to the arrest of a stowaway on board a container ship that was moored outside the port of Haifa. Reports mention that the man was attempting to set the vessel on fire. The unidentified people tried to take control of the ship, while the fire began during the argument.
The US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection responded to a report of three stowaways on the merchant vessel, Diana J, on January 16, about three miles off the Port of Miami. The boarding teams found no additional stowaways, rescinded the Captain of the Port Order and the stowaways were taken into custody.
On December 21, four Nigerian stowaways were arrested aboard the Grande Tema vessel, after threatening the vessel’s crew. They have now been charged with affray for allegedly threatening the crew and trying to take control of the ship. During the hearing, the prosecutor asked the court for a three week delay in order to allow for more preparations, asserting that the case may be ‘undercharged’ relative to the severity of the alleged crime.
Essex police has rescued the 71,000-tonne Italian vessel, Grande Tema, on December 21 in Thames, after stowaways allegedly threatened its crew. Namely, officials detained four stowaways, while no injuries were reported. Sources say that the stowaways boarded the ship in Lagos, or during stops on the west African coast.
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority are using strict security measures to close all avenues that are used by people who want to use the country’s sea ports to stowaway to Western countries. Ghana’s Tema port is facing serious problems with stowaway incidents, with ‘one or two’ persons caught engaging in it this year.
As the stowaway activity in the South African port of Durban has seen a recent increase, the Japan P&I Club recommended that operators should employ the services of private security guards during the vessel’s port stay at the port and that the crew should remain vigilant at all times.
North P&I Club informed that there has been a notable change in stowaway trends over the last year and a half, as an increased activity is reported around a number of European ports. Potential stowaways target Bilbao’s commercial port and are being discovered on board container and general cargo vessels heading for UK ports,
MEDPANDI has issued a circular in order to provide an overview of the issues surrounding stowaways found onboard vessels destined for Spanish ports.
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