South Africa – Recent Trend and Countermeasures to Stowaways

10 November 2016 No.856
P&I Associates (Pty) Ltd., our correspondent in South Africa, has kindly provided the Association with information about the recent trend and countermeasures to stowaways in South Africa. Please find attached circular.

According to our correspondent, the stowaway attacks have increased significantly over the last two months. As we are approaching Christmas, it is possible that the rise in stowaway cases will increase. Our correspondent showed the current rule in South Africa, recent trend and countermeasures to stowaways.

The Current rule in South Africa:
Should any unlawful person gain access onto a ship in a South African port, the person will automatically be deemed to be a stowaway (not a trespasser) unless the vessel can prove that the stowaway attempted to board the vessel in all South African ports.

Stowaway attacks occur in a situation such as; late at night or early morning, by blending in with stevedore gangs in stevedore-like clothing, by climbing up via ropes or gangways. Our correspondent recommend; to collect all visitors’ port permits and to refuse boarding without port permits, to employ private security to patrol the quayside near forward/stern mooring lines, to raise the gangway and only lower it to allow the visitor on board in order to avoid the stowaways’ aggressive trespassing.