Senegal: Restricting landing of stowaways


Published: 14 July 2014

The development

The General Manager of Dakar Port, Senegal, has issued a circular dated 2 July 2014 where in it is stated that the disembarkation of stowaways is no longer authorised at Dakar Port.

It is important to note that this applies to any vessel on which stowaways are present that originate from a previous port of call outside of Senegal.

If stowaways boarded the vessel at Dakar, then disembarkation will remain possible at that port.

The local P&I correspondents are presently discussing this with the local authorities to seek a new solution.

Loss prevention advice

Members will be well aware that port calls in Africa come with the risk of stowaways seeking to gain access to the vessel, hoping they will successfully reach countries in North America and Europe.

Given the difficult circumstances that affect a number of countries across the African continent, it is expected that persons will continue to seek to stowaway on vessels.

Key advice remains:

  1. if a vessel is due to call at a port where there are stowaway risks then:
    a. advance planning should be undertaken for managing this risk, including crew briefing
    b. vessel's ISPS plan should be reviewed with specific focus on protecting the vessel against unauthorised access
    c. extra security should be placed on gangways
    d. stowaways need to be carefully counted on and off
    e. as appropriate, local security may need to be contracted to assist the crew
    f. regular security sweeps of the vessel should be conducted
    g. a careful pre-departure check should be undertaken
    Careful checks on the vessel can help to mitigate this riskCareful checks on the vessel can help to mitigate this risk
  2. should stowaways gain access to the vessel then:
    a. if still in port, inform local correspondents and agents straight away
    b. contact the Club
    c. collect any identification documents that may be on the stowaways
    d. check each stowaway for any drugs or weapons they have on board
    e. place the stowaways in a secure area, which can be locked and controlled
    f. provide stowaways with food and water
    g. if any stowaways shows signs of being ill or injured, advise Club and correspondents immediately
    h. sick persons may need to be isolated individually
    Unauthorised persons and stowaways should be secured

The Association has previously advised on this issue.

The Association is grateful to correspondents France P&I and Senegal P&I for their input to this update.