Truly Never Land:
The Trubezh arrived Jan. 20 bearing unexpected cargo, said Joe Balzano, executive director of the South Jersey Port Corp. A young man had stolen in with the cocoa beans the ship picked up in Ivory Coast.
Now he is stuck on the vessel indefinitely as it navigates from port to port.
The owners of vessels bear the responsibility, and the financial burden, to send stowaways home. Ship owners often also pay for armed guards while in U.S. ports with stowaways aboard. If the stowaway escapes, the owner is fined about $3,000.
Rather than bear the expense, some officers have ordered stowaways cast overboard.
“The law created incentives for stowaways never to make it ashore,” said Doug Stevenson, director of the Center for Seafarer Rights in New York.
The center defended the captain and first mate of the cargo ship MC Ruby, who were sentenced to life in prison for the 1992 murder of eight Ghanaian stowaways. The men were beaten with iron rods, shot, and dumped off the coast of Portugal.