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15 Illegal Stowaways Discovered on P&O Ferry

Published Jul 11, 2013 1:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

15 illegal immigrants were found hiding inside of a tanker aboard a P&O ferry at the Port of Dover in the United Kingdom.

All of the stowaways needed medical treatment; a couple were suffering from heat exhaustion and trouble breathing. They were found on P&O’s Spirit of France.

Six fire engines and specialist equipment were sent to the port along with local police, the UK Border Agency and HMRC officers were also called to the scene.

Two drivers have been taken into custody. The port remains open and other ferry services are unaffected.

P&O Ferries is helping the police with their investigations into the incident involving the Spirit of France. Ferry services had been delayed, but were expected to resume later.

A statement from the Port of Dover follows: The critical incident is now stood down.  The Port of Dover apologizes for any delay to customers affected by this morning’s incident.  Customer safety and security is our primary concern and the Port, together with its partner agencies, responded accordingly.  There were no fatalities and all of the 15 illegal migrants found in the tanker on board P&O’s Spirit of France have now been returned to Border Force for processing having received medical attention as required.  The examination of the tanker has been completed and the powder initially found in the vehicle has been confirmed as non-hazardous. The Port remained operational throughout the incident. Port of Dover Police are continuing their investigations.