US Bodily Injury News
held liable for the cost of food, clothing, hotel accommodations, repatriation, guards where necessary, and the cost of obtaining temporary travel documents.
The Member may also be liable for fines incurred where stowaways have escaped from the ship or for fines imposed by the authorities for persons arriving on the ship without necessary travel documentation. Such fines are covered under the P&I rules.
Note: Some charterparties contain stowaway clauses which may shift liability for stowaways to the charterers, often depending on how access to the vessel was obtained. It is recommended that owners and charterers ensure that they are familiar with the stowaway clause contained in their charter party.
Other issues that often arise: What if the stowaway is dead?
What if the authorities refuse to accept the stowaways?
If the authorities at the disembarkation port refuse to allow the stowaway to disembark, unfortunately, the stowaway must remain on board. The vessel must take all measures to keep the stowaway secure and must then attempt to disembark at the next port of call, if possible.
Can the vessel deviate in order to disembark the stowaway?
While not preferred, it may sometimes be necessary to deviate to disembark the stowaways. In those rare instances when deviation becomes necessary, it is best to confer with the Club to assure that the deviation is covered and SOL cover is not needed. [Deviation costs may be covered under Rule 2, Section 7.]
In a recent case, Brazilian authorities, despite being advised prior to the vessel’s arrival, refused to allow a Nigerian stowaway to disembark. Both the agents and local correspondents met with the Brazilian authorities numerous times begging them to accept the stowaway who was now becoming disruptive and violent. The Brazilian authorities flatly refused. The vessel’s next port of call was in Algeria, which was also known to be unfriendly to vessels carrying stowaways - most times refusing to allow disembarkation of the stowaways. In this instance, the Club, in
If a deceased stowaway is discovered, the same procedures must be followed to determine the identity of the stowaway and repatriate the body. Since the stowaway cannot be interviewed, identification will obviously be more difficult if no travel documents have been found with the stowaway. The local correspondent will liase with the appropriate consulates and/or embassies and work to verify identity and then obtain travel documentation. The local correspondent will also liase with a funeral home to prepare the body for transport. This process can take weeks or even months.
The Loss Prevention department’s Stowaways Checklist provides guidance for Masters and shipowners on dealing with these issues in a handy format. Please contact the Loss Prevention department at lossprevention.uk
or check the website www.ukpandi.com/loss-
prevention for a copy.
conjunction with Robmarine (a company who specializes in stowaway matters), assisted the member in an effort to find a country near or within the vessel’s intended route within which to disembark the stowaway.
What if the stowaway claims political asylum?
If a request for political asylum is made, the immigration authorities will usually take responsibility for the stowaway from that point onward. They may, in some cases, demand a guarantee or other form of security from the shipowner, to cover all or part of the costs of detention and repatriation. If the stowaway is not granted asylum, the immigration authorities will make the necessary arrangements for repatriation of the stowaway, but the shipowner may be held liable for the repatriation expenses.
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