Stowaways - what to do with them?


#1

Hello,

I am the master on a large container vessel. There is presently an ongoing debate on my company about stowaway problem.

The question is following:
After the stowaways are found on board - what is proper procedure?
What paperwork to complete?
Who to contact first?
How to treat them?
What evidence to collect as proof that they have been treated correctly and fairly in accordance with IMO requirements?
(This would be to protect the owner / master against false accusations for maltreatment, lousy or no food at all, etc…)

Of course, the info may be found elsewhere, but the question is to those proffesionals on forum who had expereince with problem and took (positive) action.

What paperwork and action would a lawyer representing a company would expect to cover the stowaway repatriation and other expenses from P&I clubs?

What actions and records an CG officer, or immigration officer would expect?

What are the experiences of masters or merchant marine officers having stowaways on board?

many thanks for your answers and proffesional opinions!


#2

jolly,

your kidding right??this should all be laid out in minute detail in the vessel’s SMS…your company’s DPA should be fired…friggin DESK pilots!!

*my last stowaway experience was pre-9/11…had to repatriate 13 back to Panama from Puerto Rico…that was some CF…with all the “security issues” today can’t imagine what that nightmare would be like now…probably would be easier to sign them on as crew!!


#3

I admit,
my company sms is a joke, the only thing we have is an anti-stowaway check list. No other instructions.
The stowaway are the isue, and as I said, a good profesional advice would help, as I described above.

How to make good, solid written evidence?


#4

Jolly,

The IMO publishes a list of resources to learn more about Illegal Stowaways that might help answer your questions: “INFORMATION RESOURCES ON STOWAWAYS / ILLEGAL MIGRANTS/ TREATMENT OF PERSONS RESCUED AT SEA, INFORMATION SHEET No. 33”.

Also consider this advice before picking anyone up off a raft :wink:


#5

[quote=john;20065]Jolly,

The IMO publishes a list of resources to learn more about Illegal Stowaways that might help answer your questions: “INFORMATION RESOURCES ON STOWAWAYS / ILLEGAL MIGRANTS/ TREATMENT OF PERSONS RESCUED AT SEA, INFORMATION SHEET No. 33”.

Also consider this advice before picking anyone up off a raft ;)[/quote]

Thanks!
Already done that, and checked P&I breifings.

Practical question remains:
For example, the master is responsible for ensuring that stowaways have good, humane treatment - good food, drinking water, etc…
Which evidence to provide, in case that stowaways start claiming “they were starved to death”.

They are not to be given any work.
What if they state the opposite and claim the owner for compensation for alleged work they performed? If there is more of them - they will be “witnesses” to each other.
Which evidence to provide they did not work?


#6

**looks like a good comprehensive resource…should keep some company’s DPA “busy” for the next couple of years!!


#7

Ey, Dawg,

Seems to me we have same opinion on some DPA’s…
Mine is a nice guy from India, strugling to pay his bills in London, has never experienced sailing, or seen deck either, afraid of his boss…
This is exactly what he needs, this link, to keep pretending to work…and keep the boss happy.:slight_smile:

I prefer being practical on the other hand…:slight_smile:


#8

[quote=Practical question remains:
For example, the master is responsible for ensuring that stowaways have good, humane treatment - good food, drinking water, etc…
Which evidence to provide, in case that stowaways start claiming “they were starved to death”.
They are not to be given any work.
What if they state the opposite and claim the owner for compensation for alleged work they performed? If there is more of them - they will be “witnesses” to each other.
Which evidence to provide they did not work?[/quote]

jolly…from a “practical” standpont…seems to me that you are “sailing by the seat of your pants” on this…here are some practical considerations:

*your vessel’s deficient SMS may have provided a good “leeway” in this matter.

  • first and formost…they have committed a criminal act…particularly during these times…they should always be considered dangerous and a security risk!!

*might want to be acutely aware of the distinctions between confined, restrained, detained, restricted and such.

*suggest you provide them with the required water, food, and berthing and a little more if possible… have them sign a “chit”.

*as to alleged work…a collective signed statement from your crew should counter any “creative collusion”.

*if it is advantageous to work them…have them sign a release…employ them in well supervised, safe, menial tasks… pay them from ship’s funds and sign a chit…that way everyone goes home happy.

*might want to have all this well documented by digital and/or video camera.

*would avoid invoking “over riding authority” as that might put you out there all by yourself…which in the “long game” as masters we always are!!

*as for the legality of all this…consider it more about intent??

*as for SMS…their are “canned” programs out there that can be purchased…very comprehensive and can be adapted to be industry segment, company, and vessel specific with some collaboration and a little effort from your DPA.

GOOD LUCK!!


#9

[quote=jolly;20035]Hello,

I am the master on a large container vessel. There is presently an ongoing debate on my company about stowaway problem.

The question is following:
After the stowaways are found on board - what is proper procedure?
What paperwork to complete?
Who to contact first?
How to treat them?
What evidence to collect as proof that they have been treated correctly and fairly in accordance with IMO requirements?
(This would be to protect the owner / master against false accusations for maltreatment, lousy or no food at all, etc…)

Of course, the info may be found elsewhere, but the question is to those proffesionals on forum who had expereince with problem and took (positive) action.

What paperwork and action would a lawyer representing a company would expect to cover the stowaway repatriation and other expenses from P&I clubs?

What actions and records an CG officer, or immigration officer would expect?

What are the experiences of masters or merchant marine officers having stowaways on board?

many thanks for your answers and profesional opinions![/quote]

Dear Jolly-
I am going to limit my response to what the liabilities of the crew, Master and ship owner are post stowaway discovery for injuries they may suffer while on board the vessel.

This is an easy one. Prior to discovery they are a trespasser and one that you are unaware of their presence. I believe in that situation no duty exists and, even if you were negligent and they were injured as a result of that negligence, I do not believe they could successfully assert a general maritime claim. Remember, pre & post disclosure, they are not employees and could never, therefore, assert a Jones Act claim. Post-Discovery, things change a bit. You now have a duty for their safe welfare and I believe that they would be able to maintain an action for personal injuries if someone negligently injured them. I have not checked the case law on this point but the heightened duty of care that exists to a paying passenger I do not believe would be present (assuming you did not take money from them for passage at anytime) as they still remain in a “trespasser” status. I simply believe the duty and standard of care owed to them is an oredinary duty of care.


#10

I just had these exact questions on my upgrade test. Sadly it was a memorize, regurgitate, forget strategy for that module. I remember you have to make a separate crew list marked “STOWAWAYS”

I’m fortunate enough to work on smaller vessels with fewer witnesses than you container ship. I would get halfway to my destination and huck the fuckers over the rail. Problem solved.


#11

[quote=TxKingfisher;28547]I just had these exact questions on my upgrade test. Sadly it was a memorize, regurgitate, forget strategy for that module. I remember you have to make a separate crew list marked “STOWAWAYS”

I’m fortunate enough to work on smaller vessels with fewer witnesses than you container ship. I would get halfway to my destination and huck the fuckers over the rail. Problem solved.[/quote]

I cant believe this guy!! Can you believe he mis-spelled: shuck! Incredible! LOL


#12

the vessels i have worked on always had a locked stowaway cabin or room where they would be kept in theory. food water toilet were their only requirements as per our companies sms. as for repatriation expenses etc do not know. first job was to get them safely ashore before getting hurt, of course company would be notified way in advance so presumably they would have logistics set up upon vessel arrival. if not then contacting local port authorities would be first step.
movie called “cargo” was about this. pretty cool shipping stowaway film.


#13

No, I meant huck. Be nice to me and I might retain your services if I get caught hucking stowaways over the rail… :stuck_out_tongue:


#14

Thanks TxKingfisher, You got to be patient,not everyone speaks good Texan like us. :smiley:


#15

LMAO,
I had 3 Navigators in succession that were all native Texans and die hard A&M boys, while serving in the Navy…I felt like I had learned a second language by the time I got out…


#16

already been done…can’t advise it…captain lost his license and did time!!


#17

Wouldn’t be the worst thing that ever happened to me probably…
Hell, 3 hots and a cot, no more taxes, ISM paperwork, just hang out watching tv and eating ramen noodles from the comissary. And I think I know most of the tricks of the trade to get along comfortably in prison learned from all my convict deckhands over the years. Like making shanks, making tattoo guns from cassette player ink pen and guitar string, making a shank proof vest from a bunch of magazines, making a girlfriend from a surgical glove filled with water and tied with a finger inside out. Yeah, after paying over $30,000 on bullshit training mandated by the government most of which I knew more than the instructors I and now having a hard time finding work while jones act wavers are being handed out like candy on halloween night, I think it would be nice to sit back and let the government support my ass for a while…:mad: [/rant]


#18

I am sure your convict deckhand friends have also told you that in prison the government isn’t the only one “supporting your ass”. :slight_smile: I think you’ll have a cell mate who will be happy to have seamen in his cell who be looking for some ass support. :slight_smile:


#19

Thats where shank making comes in handy…DUH!


#20

still with all said and done…imagine that being Bubba and Leroy’s bitch would be a definite down side and not much fun…pun intended…will definitely have to check out the “glove as a girlfriend” thing though!!