Stowaways

Containers from a cargo ship that arrived in New Jersey from the Middle East on Wednesday were unloaded in a rush after a Coast Guard inspection team heard knocking that suggested stowaways might be inside one of the boxes.

Stowaways suspected in container ship docked in NJ

By Samantha Henry, Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Dock workers rushed to unload stacked containers from a cargo ship that arrived in New Jersey from the Middle East on Wednesday after a Coast Guard inspection team heard knocking for about two hours that suggested stowaways might be inside one of the boxes.

More than a dozen ambulances and law enforcement officials met the 850-foot Ville D’Aquarius when it docked early Wednesday at Port Newark, one of the nation’s busiest ports. Large mechanical cranes began unloading containers from the ship.

By midday Wednesday, all but one ambulance had quietly left the pier. By evening, officials had inspected 150 of the 200 containers authorities believe could be carrying people and no stowaways had been found. The search was to continue on Thursday. The ship has 2,000 containers altogether.

The Coast Guard team had boarded the ship outside New York Harbor early Wednesday as the ship prepared to dock, spokesman Charles Rowe said. The officers were knocking on a bulkhead, or partition, of the ship as a routine security check and heard knocks back, he said, but they couldn’t pinpoint the source of the sound. The return knocks ended after about two hours, Rowe said.

The team followed protocol and didn’t……[access full article]

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