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U.S. seizes cargo ship in search for stowaways

Agents are currently investigating allegations of stowaways A cargo ship believed to be carrying stowaways was seized at a New Jersey port on Wednesday after it arrived in the United States following stops in India and Egypt to pick up freight, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Agents said they heard what sounded like people in a container buried beneath others in the ship's hold, Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said.The container had not been opened hours after the ship was stopped and was being moved by crane to a dock so it could be checked, he said.The ship's manifest said the container was loaded onto the vessel on June 7 in India and was carrying machine parts.At least seven ambulances waited outside Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, where dozens of containers were moved to the dock for inspection. Authorities knocked on the outside of the red, blue or gray containers, listening for noises, and opened and searched them.The vessel was identified as the Ville D'Aquarius, according to Anthony Bucci, a spokesman for the U.S. Customs & Border Protection."Agents are currently investigating allegations of stowaways," Bucci said in a statement.Rowe said authorities determined the container could not be opened in the ship's hold, ...

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West of England P&I Club: South Africa – Stowaways – Update

Vessels are advised to ensure that the crew is particularly alert to this risk In the past month the West of England P&I Club has experienced a number of cases involving stowaways boarding vessels in Durban, South Africa. Members with vessels on passage to Durban or other ports in South Africa are advised to ensure that the crew is particularly alert to this risk.In one recent incident, stowaways managed to bypass a locked gate in an underdeck passage on a container vessel by climbing through a cable run in the adjacent transverse frame, even though the gap between the cables and steel frame measured only 17 cms. In another case, a stowaway hid inside a crane pedestal.According to Club correspondents P&I Associates in Durban, the majority of stowaways are Tanzanian nationals who have entered South Africa illegally. However, nationals from Mozambique, Kenya and other countries in Central and West Africa may also be encountered.Unless already required by the Ship Security Plan, P&I Associates recommend that vessels take further action as follows:Keep a deck watch forward and aft as many of the stowaways in the recent past have advised they climbed up a mooring line at night to board the vessel. ...

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Increase in the number of persons attempting to stowaway on vessels

Vessels calling at Turkish ports The West of England P&I Club has been advised by Kalimbassieris Maritime, Istanbul, of a significantincrease in the number of persons attempting to stowaway on vessels calling at Turkish ports.Turkey is the natural crossing point into Europe for refugees and economic migrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. However, due to the high level of security at Turkish border points, they often find that a land crossing into Europe is not possible. Therefore they may look for other ways to reach their intended destination.Due to thesignificant increase in the number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross into Europe, there has been a corresponding rise in stowaway attempts from Turkish ports, including Turkish Nationals. Given that security measures in some Turkish ports and terminals may not be as robust as at land border checkpoints, vessels should be particularly vigilant and ensure that all practicable steps are taken to prevent persons stowing away.Source: The West of England P&I Club

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Videotel updates stowaway programme

Coping with Stowaways - Edition 2 Videotel Marine International has announced the launch of an update to its training programme, 'Coping with Stowaways - Edition 2', revisiting the subject and mixing new interview footage reflecting revised management and security information.'Coping with Stowaways' identifies the dangers that master and crew can face when dealing with stowaways and offers advice on how to raise security levels to ensure the problem is avoided.It focuses on the need for vigilance to prevent stowaways gaining access to the ship and the procedures to be adopted if stowaways do succeed in boarding.The course is aimed at all crew on all ships, but particularly officers concerned with ensuring the security of the vessel. It is available as a DVD with supporting booklet and as an interactive CD-ROM."In recent years we have seen an upsurge in stowaway incidents and an increase in the levels of violence encountered by crews dealing with the problem," says Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel."This updated programme identifies the best practices to prevent stowaways getting on board and the procedures for dealing with them."Source: The Digital Ship

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Stowaways origintating from South and West African ports

Stowaways have hidden and undetected in various locations The Republic of the Marshall Islands issues Marine Safety Advisory regarding Stowaways origintating from South and West African ports as follows:Since June 2011 the Maritime Administrator has received 11 reports of stowaways from south and west African ports being found onboard Marshall Islands flagged ships either at sea or during pre-departure stowaway searches. Based on reports that have been received, stowaways have boarded ships in a number of ways, including:Climbing up over the side using mooring linesClimbing aboard by way of the rudder Hiding in containers prior to loadingThe stowaways have hidden, undetected, in various locations, including:Chain locker Rudder trunk Funnel stack Engine room vents Deck cranes Containers Notable items revealed in individual reports were:The stowaways came aboard in between the time of the stowaway search and the vessels departure; in one instance they boarded the vessel while lines were being taken in. The stowaways were assisted to the vessel by a small boat from shore and in one case the small boat returned to retrieve the stowaways as they jumped overboard after being discovered.MSD 001 (11/01) 2 of 2 MSA No. 118-11The stowaways used a hand saw to cut the security ...

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The case of stowaways boarding at South Africa

Think like a stowaway when designating search areas and assigning search parties UK P&I Club issued Bulletin 766-05/11 for Stowaways as follows:The Association would like to bring to light a recent case of stowaways' boarding at Richards Bay, South Africa to the attention of Members. This case highlights the extreme risks stowaways are prepared to take in their means of boarding while attempting to remain undetected.The ship in question was a bulk carrier of 34,400grt, which loaded a cargo of steam coal for discharge at Sikka, India. Before arrival at the load port the crew had standing instructions to remain vigilant at all times for stowaways attempting to board. All doors remained closed and locked and all ladders from the main deck to the boat deck and from the boat deck to the next level had been blocked with razor wire.Extra precautions were in place as the ship was transiting the Indian Ocean High Risk Area. One door, shore side was in operation with two seamen constantly on watch. Periodical patrols took place with constant reporting to the watch officer and chief officer. Before departure from Richards Bay a stowaway search was performed and stowaway check list completed.Five days after ...

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