The Standard Club warns rise in stowaways is costing the industry millions

An increase in the number of stowaways as a result of the economic downturn is afflicting the industry and costing owners and P&I Clubs millions, according to a revealing report released by The Standard Club.

Causing considerable complications for the master and owner if detected only after the vessel has left the port of embarkation; the Club revealed that since 2000 it has had to deal with 982 stowaway claims totalling $9.2 million, a statistic likely to rise in the face of global downturn.

High-risk areas have been identified by The Standard Club as having a statistically higher level of incidence, posing a “high risk threat to ports and terminals where the ISPS Code is not being implemented with any vigour, including the ports of North, South, East and West Africa, certain South American countries and the Caribbean.”

Despite the implementation of the ISPS Code which has helped to prevent such stowaway incidents; in the midst of a worldwide recession, the threat of stowaways is more prevalent and a potential hazard to any trading port.

Recognising that “the costs alone from disruption of the ship’s schedule can be considerable,” the Standard Club has warned that “continual monitoring”, utmost vigilance and effective crew training must be applied to prevent such incidences from occurring and to avoid the extortionate and unnecessary costs incurred by stowaways.