Sat, Oct

Stowaways and Ship Security

A Master's Guide to Shipboard Accident Response

The costs of repatriation of stowaways (as well as sick crew members) are covered by the Club. Repatriation of stowaways can be difficult, time consuming and expensive – always complete a thorough stowaway search before departure and always maintain a gangway watch.


    What to do when stowaways are found:

    • confine them to a secure area, particularly when in port or coastal waters (in port it may be necessary to arrange for security guards);

    • search them and their place of concealment for identification papers, weapons or drugs;

    • if no identification papers are found, interview the stowaways and endeavor to ascertain the following information:

    – name of stowaway;

    – stowaway’s date and place of birth;

    – nationality of stowaway;

    – name, date and place of birth of either or both of the stowaway’s parents;

    – postal and residential address of the stowaway and either or both parents;

    – stowaway’s passport No., together with date of and place of issue;

    – stowaway’s next of kin, if different from above.

    • advise your owner or manager immediately and the P&I correspondent at the next port as soon as possible, providing all available details and the ship’s future itinerary;

    • treat them firmly, but humanely, allowing adequate sustenance;

    • do not add stowaways to the crew list.

    • make a note of any pre-existing illness or injury.


    Fines for drugs discovered on board may be covered by the Club.

    If drugs are discovered:

    • if your owner or manager is a signatory to either the UK Anti Drug Alliance or US Sea Carrier Initiative Agreement, follow the guidelines set out in those agreements;

    • inform your owner or manager, the appropriate authorities and the P&I correspondent at the next port immediately;

    • photograph the drugs in their place of concealment;

    • ensure that retrieval of the drugs and stowage in a secure place, preferably in the ship’s safe, is witnessed;

    • minimize all contact with the substances and DO NOT attempt to taste or smell them;

    • record full details of the discovery and subsequent procedures in the log book, and follow this up with a full written report.