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Prior to departure
  • a proper, systematic and extensive search of all parts of the vessel should be carried out to discover any stowaway who may be on board. Due to the different sizes and shapes of vessels, an exhaustive search list cannot be produced here. Any search conducted must be carried out in accordance with the vessel’s own search list
  • where available, shorebased search parties with dogs should be engaged
  • announcements to be displayed at the vessel’s access points stating that holds will be treated with gas prior to departure. The impression of injecting gas into the holds may be given by injecting pressurised air
  • the vessel’s next port of call should not be displayed, unless it is unattractive for a stowaway.

    After departure, it is advisable to stop the vessel while still within port limits to carry out a second systematic and extensive search of all parts of the vessel including the stores and – if possible and accessible – the cargo holds. It may be easier to land stowaways found before the vessel has left territorial waters.

    All the measures taken should be properly recorded in the vessel’s log to evidence to the immigration authorities that all proper precautions were taken.

    If stowaways are discovered upon departure, please refer to section 3.15 Stowaways