406 - 03/05 - Stowaway Check Requirements - New Orleans - USA

The USCG Marine Safety Office (MSO) New Orleans have issued a Marine Safety Bulletin advising masters and operators to be alert to stowaways trying to gain access to and hiding in rudder trunks on deep draft vessels.  The COTP may require a fax from the master of ships bound for the Port of New Orleans that requires confirmation of the following:

1.  A thorough search for stowaways was conducted upon getting underway from a foreign port and whether or not stowaways were found on board;

2.  Whether or not the rudder compartment was checked during the search; and 

3.  Stowaway history for the past 24 months.

The MSO also distributed information on the installation of a grid to make the rudder trunk inaccessible from outside as the consequences of carrying a stowaway into the United States far exceeds the manpower expended in conducting a thorough shipboard search for stowaways when getting underway. Members may remember that in November 2004 the Club issued Loss Prevention News issue 17, which contained information on stowaways seeking access to these areas and the Club’s Loss Prevention website also shows a grid system put in place on a Member vessel to prevent stowaways accessing the vessel’s rudder housing.

The Club recommends Members follow these guidelines when bound for the Port of New Orleans in order to reduce the likelihood of the vessel encountering delays.

Images: a stowaway sat on the top of the rudder by the rudder stock, a crew member demonstrating how access to the rudder housing can be gained from outside and an example of how a Member ship took action to prevent this by welding steel bars across the access.


Source of information: 

US Coastguard Marine Safety Office

New Orleans


Industry developments

Polar Shipping

Legal, navigational and environmental resources, news and updates on the development of polar shipping. Read more

US VRP Compliance

With effect from 30th January 2014 non-tank as well as tankships calling at US ports will be required to submit VRPs.  For Club and other resources to assist in compliance click here

International Environmental compliance

Environmental Compliance resource page collates material in respect of International environmental compliance issues affecting our Members. Information from the Club, Loss Prevention and external resources has been collated in one place for ease of reference.

MLC 2006

The Maritime Labour Convention enters into force in August 2013 - resources, news & advice on implementation can be found in this dedicated section.  READ MORE

International sanctions

Recent guidance & corresponding material in respect of international sanctions against various countries has been updated with respect to temporary easing of sanctions against Iran.  READ MORE


Essential precautions and preparation against piracy, as well as additional information and resources, loss prevention advisories and useful external web links

Emergency Contacts

If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder

This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.