What Happens to Stowaways on a Ship?

Ever since ships were traded internationally, there have been people looking for a better life or fleeing war. Oppression, and persecution but cannot afford to get from A to B. Therefore, the concept of stowaways on ships was born. However, this problem has been exacerbated in recent years by a growing number of global issues. And the willingness or desperation of people. To take on the very real risk of being smuggled onto container ships and other commercial ships. It is increasing due to the fact that it ships.

What is a ship stowaway?

According to his IMO website:  

The 1965 Amendment to the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic Convention (FAL Convention). Defines a stowaway as “a person concealed on board a ship or in cargo subsequently stowed.” I am. Responsible if a person is found on board the ship without the consent of the ship’s owner. Master or other person in charge, and is found on board the ship after departure or in the cargo during unloading at the port of arrival. And is reported by the ship’s master as a stowaway. To the authorities. In summary, a stowaway is a person who hides in a ship or cargo. Without the permission or knowledge of the ship’s owner, master, or crew and who boards the ship after departure.

Where do stowaways come from?

The majority of stowaways come from poor countries, war-torn countries, and conflict areas. Although the problem is global, many stowaways come from poor countries in Asia and Africa and want to build new lives elsewhere. Low-wage workers in or around ports and port areas may also want to be able to go home for free at the end of their contracts and during public holidays such as Christmas and New Year.

Is it dangerous to board a ship as a stowaway?

Stowaways on a ship involve great risks for those involved. Container ships are huge ships with countless different areas, equipment, machinery, and other specialized equipment on board. Unlike seafarers who have undergone rigorous training and experience working on ships. Stowaways are not only in an unfamiliar environment but also completely unprepared if something goes wrong. Additionally, spending months at sea without enough food and drink,  in unsanitary conditions (showers and toilets aren’t really an option.), and in strange and often dangerous conditions can lead to severe This can lead to illness and death. The risks of starvation, dehydration, suffocation, hypothermia, and even drowning are real.

Does having a stowaway on board cause problems?

In short, yes. The discovery of a stowaway on board a ship is a major headache for almost all parties involved. There are often significant economic implications for shipowners and states, legal issues for port authorities, and challenges for captains and crews dealing with strangers on board when they are already busy on board. The problem will arise that you have to. Work. And in modern times, when crews are smaller, in the worst-case scenario, there may even be more stowaways on board than sailors.

How do stowaways get on board?

The owner or master of the vessel is responsible for ensuring that all doors, hatches, and other access points are locked and secured. You should also ensure that your deck is constantly monitored and has adequate lighting at night. Stowaways are nothing if they aren’t determined, and they can and will find ways to circumvent security measures. A stowaway must be stealthy and careful in order to board the ship unnoticed.

Most stowaways board ships late at night, under cover of darkness, or early in the morning, when most of the crew would be asleep. They may wear clothing, uniforms, or work equipment similar to crew members and may also carry false identification in case they are stopped. Stowaways sometimes hide in empty shipping containers, and some climb anchor ropes to board ships. Others may have paid bribes to port guards to allow them to enter restricted areas with a blind eye in order to gain easier access to ships.

Where do stowaways hide on a ship?

 Stowaways hide not only in empty shipping containers but also in engine rooms, tanks,  holds, paint rooms, accommodation, chain boxes, warehouses, cranes, control surfaces, fake hide behind the wall, and even on the helm. And it doesn’t take much imagination to see how dangerous it is.

Do stowaways have rights?

An international convention on stowaways currently exists, but despite having been in existence for over 50 years, it has not been ratified by a sufficient number of countries and is, therefore, not enforced. The Convention regulates issues such as the responsibilities of the authorities and the ship’s captain when a stowaway is found on board a ship, and the regulations and costs associated with the return of the stowaway to his or her country of origin. Although this Convention has not been ratified. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the protection of fundamental human rights for stowaways, including freedom from torture, slavery, discrimination, degrading treatment, and the right to life.

What should a seafarer do if he or she discovers a stowaway?

It may not be a normal day on board a ship or on any other contract, but if you are working as a seafarer and discover a stowaway, you should be on your mind. There are a few things to keep in mind. First, having one or more stowaways on board is never an ideal situation, and while it causes problems for the captain and crew,  these people are also exposed to devastating poverty and other desperate conditions. Keep in mind that you are likely running away in the face of the situation. Being stuck in traffic doesn’t make you a criminal. According to the United Nations Declaration, their fundamental human rights should be respected, and they should be treated fairly on board ships. Apart from this, there are a number of actions that a responsible crew member should take if a stowaway is discovered.

  1. Assess passenger health and provide medical assistance if necessary.
  2. Try to determine their identity and nationality.
  3. Ask why they stow away.
  4. Make sure you have something to eat or drink.
  5. Provide them with shelter and sanitation.
  6. Make sure you understand the vessel’s safety procedures.
  7. Provide them with lifeboat spots and life jackets and teach them how to wear/use them.
  8. Contact the vessel’s agent or owner and let them know.

What is a ship stowaway?

If a stowaway is discovered, the master must identify exactly where and how the ship. It was accessed and issues a signed declaration containing all relevant information about the stowaway. The port authority must be notified before the next port call, and the declaration form must be handed over to the authorities. When the stowaway is removed from the ship. Whereas the captain has the right to ensure a certain level of discipline. Also, it is maintained while the stowaway is on board the ship. However, stowaways must not be arrested,  detained, or forced to work in order to travel.

Conclusion Yes, stowaways are wrong and can have very real consequences for shipowners, authorities, and seafarers. But for those desperate to try it, it can lead to injury, illness, and even death. In an ideal world, no one would have to flee their homeland in search of a better life, but unfortunately, poverty, war, and persecution exist. And who can really blame people trying to escape desperate situations for taking matters into their own hands?

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