Over the past two months we have dealt with 5 stowaway cases, which included a total of 14 stowaways attempting to make the crossing from West-European ports to the United Kingdom. In several cases, there are suspicions that the stowaways received assistance from within the local port or used disguises to come on board and hid among the cargo of the vessel or in the engine room. The presence of stowaways is a heavy burden on the crew, but particularly in Great Britain it is becoming increasingly difficult to get the stowaways off board and various procedures have to be followed. In addition, even if the stowaways can be disembarked, there is a risk that the shipowner may be faced with a fine for each individual stowaway.
We recommend that, particularly in the ports of Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, extra care should be taken in the case of stowaways, especially if the ship is on its way to the UK. For example, by taking additional measures, such as watchkeeping and a visitor pass system to ensure that they are able to properly monitor who embarks and disembarks the vessel and to conduct a thorough check of the vessel prior to departure. We would also like to refer you to our Loss Prevention guide on Stowaways, which can be downloaded from our website.