16 People Found in Container on Ferry Bound for Ireland
16 people have been discovered alive inside a steel container on a Stena Line ferry bound for Rosslare Europort on the south east coast of Ireland.
The discovery was made on Thursday morning with the ferry reaching the Irish port by mid-afternoon.
The ship had set sail from the French port of Cherbourg on Wednesday night at 9pm.
Ian Hampton, Chief People and Communications Officer at Stena Line said the people were discovered by an employee as part of a routine inspection.
In a statement issued by Stena Line on Thursday morning, Mr. Hampton said, ‘During the Stena Horizon’s 9pm sailing from Cherbourg, France, to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday November 20, one of our employees during a routine inspection discovered 16 people in a sealed trailer on the vehicle deck.
All the individuals are reported to be in good health and have been moved to a private passenger lounge on the ship where their wellbeing is the focus of our employees.
Stena Line has alerted security and immigration officials in Rosslare so as the necessary arrangements can be made for the group on the vessel’s arrival in Rosslare.’
According to local reports, the ferry docked at 3.30pm on Thursday and was met by members of the Irish police force, the Garda Siochana, and other emergency services.
It is believed that those found inside the container are all male, between the ages of 20 and 40, and had travelled from Belgium to France over the last 5 days.
The discovery comes just days after 25 people were found alive in a refrigerated container on a UK bound ship off the coast of the Netherlands.
In October the bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were found inside a lorry in Essex in the UK. The lorry had arrived in the UK on board a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
31 men and 8 women were amongst the dead.
Families of the deceased reported having paid up to €35,000 for the safe passage to the UK of their loved ones.
The nationalities of those found in Rosslare have not yet been confirmed but it is believed that they are Asian.
A statement from the Garda Siochana said they are ‘investigating potential breaches of Immigration Legislation’ following the discovery.
According to the statement ‘all individuals appear to be in good health’ and are receiving medical assessment upon their arrival at Rosslare Port.
It said that Garda Immigration Officers supported by the Garda National Immigration Bureau, will carry out an assessment on the immigration status of the 16 people found.
(Image by JThoel via Creativecommons.org)