It’s terrible to see people so desperately seeking a better life, Karl L. Kvalheim, Chairman of the Board of Champion Tankers.Released Released
Less than 20 minutes ago
The company received this picture and shows the stowaways at the helm. Photo: Unknown. Photo: Unknown.
When the ship “Champion Pula” arrived in Las Palmas, four men from Nigeria were discovered at the helm.
It was NRK that first told the story of the stowaways on the oil tanker Bergen.
Kvalheim in Champion Tankers tells BT that the four men had been hiding in a hollow behind the helm for ten days.
According to NRK, had unloaded in Lagos, Nigeria and was on the way to Herøya in Porsgrunn to load manure.
– A Spanish boat put the headlights on the rudder. Then we saw the men sitting there, says Kvalheim.
He tells BT that there is a small cavity where the tiller in the steering machine goes up.
– It’s not a big place the four men lived. The propeller whips directly below them. They could easily have turned into fish food, he says.
The four people were discovered in Spain, but the authorities there would not take care of them. The boat was not allowed to go any further until it was decided what would happen to the men.
– The Spanish authorities were very opposed to this. We lay there for two days before making a decision, Kvalheim tells NRK.
In the end, the Bergen shipping company received help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Shipowners Association.
– The men went on to Norway and Herøya, says Kvalheim.
The quartet was arrested on arrival in Herøya on Saturday 17th October.
– I don’t know what will happen next, says Kvalheim.
The police immigration authorities tell NRK that they cannot comment on individual cases.
– I think it’s horrible to see people so desperate for a better life, Kvalheim tells BT.
He says this is not the first time ships have taken passengers.
– But it’s probably very rare for them to hide behind the wheel. We’ll probably do a more thorough inspection of our ships before they leave Nigeria from now on, he says.
According to the NRK, the ship in Arendal is insured with Gard Insurance.
The company confirms that it is aware of the incident, but does not want to comment on it further in this case.