Stowaway activity increases in Port of Durban

Stowaway activity in the Port of Durban increased significantly during the last quarter of 2016, according to Goscelin Gordon, associate for shipping and logistics at Bowmans.

Ms Gordon said that generally, South African ports are a hot spot for stowaway activity, particularly in Durban as it is one of the busiest ports in Africa.

“Besides the benefit of having a number of vessels calling regularly and then continuing on their journeys worldwide, which increases stowaway’s options, it is also easier for a stowaway to avoid detection in Durban, purely due to the large number of people who work in and pass through the busy port,” she said in a note.

Mr Michael Heads, the managing director of P&I Associates, Durban also commented that there is a worrying breed of stowaway, who he refers to as “professional stowaways.” According to Mr Heads, these professionals work in syndicates and share information. He added that professional stowaways are well informed and knowledgeable about which countries will assist with the resolution of stowaway cases and which countries will protect stowaways.

They also know their rights and where and how to create scenes to further their goal, which is a monetary payment from the ship owner in return for their departing to their home country quickly and quietly, he said.

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