Bodies of two stowaways found in Durban Harbour

The bodies of two boys who stowed away on a container ship but later went missing were recovered from the ship in Durban Harbour on Sunday.

Their cousins, two teenage brothers who were found on board the container ship last Wednesday, are recovering in hospital.

The brothers were discovered by the crew of the Northern Faith when they heard knocking on the hull of the ship, which was anchored off Virginia.

The four boys, thought to be Tanzanian, had hidden in the ship’s rudder housing for nine days. The rescued brothers told the police that their cousins had gone missing in strong winds the day before they were rescued.

Police Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said that the search and rescue unit had recovered bodies from the ship on Sunday.

“The two bodies are confirmed to be the cousins,” he said. “They were found squashed inside the rudder housing. They have been taken to the government mortuary, and there will be consultation between the Tanzanian embassy and the next of kin will be alerted. These processes will be conducted through Interpol.”

A source at Durban’s Life Entabeni Hospital said the brothers, who were at the hospital recovering from their ordeal, were “doing well at the moment”.

They would be transferred to Westville police station today, the source said, adding that the hospital had initially been informed that the boys were from Ghana but “the story changes all the time”.

However, Mdunge said police officers had confirmed that the boys were Tanzanian. Their fate would be decided once the authorities had taken into consideration the circumstances in which the boys had come to the country. If it was found that a crime had been committed, they would be taken to prison before being deported to their country.

Another source said that the Northern Faith’s crew and captain had shown “goodwill” to the boys when they had been found and lifted to the deck.

“The boys were put in a cabin, given hot tea and food, and covered in blankets,” the source said.

“The police arrived at the ship and found that conditions were not good to transfer them to their launch. They said they would fetch the boys the next day, but the captain, of his own volition, arranged for the police to use the ship’s crane to lower the stowaways to their boat. They have been incredibly good to them.”

Source: The Mercury

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