1064 - 10/15 - Stowaways in Rudder Trunk - West Africa


The Association has recently seen several incidents in West Africa concerning stowaways boarding/attempting to board a vessel via the rudder trunk.

In one instance, seven stowaways attempted to board the vessel after having approached by speedboat. The Master and crew spotted the boat and managed to take preventative action to deter the stowaways before they successfully climbed the rudder.

Another instance saw four stowaways discovered well into the vessel's journey towards South America. The stowaways entered the vessel via the rudder trunk, cutting through the protective grates in place. 

Members operating bulk carriers on ballast voyages are advised to be extra diligent, as they may be seen as "easy targets". Members are advised to ensure that stowaways/drugs searches include a thorough examination of the rudder trunk and other spaces that appear to be fairly secure. This is particularly prudent given that the costs associated with stowaway repatriation can be extremely high; it is not uncommon, in Brazil for example, for costs to be in excess of US$30,000 for a single stowaway (figures provided by Representacoes Proinde Ltda). 

Further tips for stowaway prevention can be found in the Association's Stowaway Checklist, which is linked below.


Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the People Claims Syndicate (LS3) on LS3.ukclub@thomasmiller.com 

The People Claims Syndicate exclusively handles all P&I/Defence matters relating to crew, stevedores, passengers, stowaways, refugees and third party visitors involving injury, illness, death, drug smuggling, immigration fines, loss of or damage to effects of crew/others and occupational disease.

Source of Information

Amanda Hastings

People Claims Syndicate (LS3)



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