We would like to remind our members of the recurring risk of stowaways, and in particular for ships sailing to and from the United Kingdom.
In this respect we refer to the NNPC update that was released last year in which we advised to be extra vigilant, especially when sailing in the United Kingdom, and to limit the risk of stowaways boarding the ship by implementing following measures:
- Provide information and guidance to the crew well in advance on the risks and to make them aware of the measures that can be taken.
- Limit access to the vessel in port as much as possible, register visitors and shore personnel and check that all visitors have actually been disembarked before departure. Keep access points, storage and living areas locked whenever possible.
- Always have sufficient lighting on deck and possible access routes. The use of cameras is also recommended, taking into account privacy regulations which may apply.
- As far as possible, in particular in the case of potentially sensitive cargo such as containers, project cargo, nacelles and windmill blades, check that there are no stowaways hidden in the cargo, even if the cargo is sealed. We also advise contacting the charterer in advance about the measures they are taking themselves and to coordinate this as much as possible.
- Before departure, carry out the necessary searches of all rooms and areas where stowaways may have hidden and record the results in the logbook.
Furthermore it may also be important to incorporate an appropriate clause (such as the “Bimco Stowaways Clause”) into all charter parties. This assigns the risks and responsibilities and risks and often allows owners to recover any delays or costs which may arise when stowaways are able to access the vessel through no fault of the vessel.
We also refer to our stowaway related publications, such as the “Stowaway Questionnaire” and First Response form and we recommend that members always contact NNPC at email@example.com as soon as possible upon discovery of stowaways so that required assistance can be provided immediately.