US Bodily Injury News
stringent restrictions on people entering the facility, together with a vigilant deck watch, potential stowaways have difficulty in attempting to board at these locations. The high risk threat is from ports and terminals where the ISPS Code is not being implemented. This would include many of the ports of Africa, certain South American countries and the Caribbean. The task of preventing stowaways at these ports is more difficult and thus falls to the master and shipowners to put in place measures to deter stowaways.
The stowaways should be interviewed to determine their identity, their country of origin and their reasons for stowing away.An
y identifi- cation papers found with the stowaways should be confiscated. The stowaway questionnaire, mentioned below, should be prepared
The shipowner, P&I club and local agent (at next port) should all be informed immediately.
The stowaway should be informed of emergency procedures.
The stowaway should NOT be put to work onboard the vessel.
Although stowaways create problems, they should not be considered to be criminals and should be treated fairly and humanely, pursuant to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
How is the stowaway repatriated?
What do you do once a stowaway is discovered?
The stowaway should be placed in secure quarters, with guards, if possible.
The stowaway should be provided with food and water.
If more than one stowaway has been found, it is preferable to place them in separate secure quarters.
The stowaway should be searched and any weapons and/or drugs found should be confiscated.
The health of the stowaways should be assessed and they should be provided with medical assistance if needed.
Once a stowaway has been discovered, the focus turns to how to best repatriate them. The local agents and the local club correspondents will assist with this and will alert the proper authorities at the port of disembarkation. If the stowaways have no travel documentation, temporary travel documents will have to be obtained by local agents or club correspondents in conjunction with the appropriate embassy or consulate. It can take some time to arrange for temporary travel documents, thus it is best to alert the local agents/club correspondents to this fact as early as possible. It sometimes requires a personal visit by the consular officer to the ship which can be difficult. Further, it is common for stowaways to lie about their nationality and it may take some time just to determine the identity and nationality of the stowaway through a series of interviews, photographs and expert assistance. The Club provides a questionaire for the master to use when interviewing stowaways. The questionaire provides spaces for fingerprints and photographs. The completed questionaire should then be sent to the local correspondent to assist in obtaining travel documents.
What is shipowner’s liability?
In order to be covered under the P&I rules, the Member must have a legal liability for the costs and/or expenses relating to the stowaways. The carrier will normally be liable for a person on board who is not in possession of valid identification papers. The carrier is also likely to be
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