Entries in Cargo (4)


It's Official: No Stowaways on Cargo Ship in NJ

ABC News(NEWARK, N.J.) -- One hundred and sixty-three cargo containers later, a search for stowaways aboard a freighter docked in Port Newark, N.J., has ended with no sign of a single stowaway.

On Wednesday morning, port officials thought they heard faint "knocking" coming from a container on the cargo ship Ville D'Aquarius, which had left India on June 11. When the search began in earnest, it was rumored that as many as 25 stowaways from Pakistan were aboard.

One emergency radio call even reported the stowaways as possible terrorists.  They were believed hidden inside a cargo container buried in a pile of containers containing machine tool parts.

A standard cargo-ship container is 20 feet long and can hold 50,000 pounds of cargo. Many had to be hoisted off the ship and onto the Calcutta dock in Port Newark to be searched -- all for nothing.

"After a lengthy and exhaustive inspection by the Department of Homeland Security Officials, the search for stowaways aboard the Ville D'Aquarius has concluded with no stowaways found," a Homeland Security spokesman said. "Officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection with assistance from ICE -Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Port Authority of NY/NJ, utilized X-Ray machines, K-9 units and officers on the ground to search over 163 containers."

The ordeal began around 3 a.m. Wednesday, after a Coast Guard patrol stop at the mouth of New York harbor, when officials conducting a routine check of the cargo ship believed they may have heard faint knocking coming from one of the containers onboard.

Within hours, emergency medical teams, police and federal law enforcement converged on the port as customs officials checked each container and port equipment operators raced to dig out the suspected containers. 

The ship had been out to sea for more than two weeks prior to docking, leading authorities to fear for the health of the alleged stowaways.  A string of ambulances and other emergency vehicles waited just outside the port.  The ambulances have since been sent back to their regular duties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Freighter Adrift in Dangerous Alaskan Waters

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Coast Guard(ADAK, Alaska) -- A Greek-owned, Liberian-flagged, freighter carrying canola seeds and fuel went adrift in rough seas near Adak, Alaska, Friday when the main engine broke down.

The U.S. Coast Guard said that winds in the area were blowing at 45 mph, with 29-foot seas. None of the crew members were reported injured.

The coast guard was able to being towing the freighter, named Golden Seas, toward Dutch Harbor at about 8:30 p.m.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


New Bill to Address 'Gaping Hole' in Aviation Security

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – Amid increased concern over cargo security, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., proposed a bill in a letter to House colleagues that would extend security screening mandates to 100 percent of airplane cargo.

The bill would act as an extension to a similar law authored by Markey in 2007, which required the screening of all cargo aboard domestic and international passenger planes in the United States.

“Al Qaeda continues to put aviation at the top of its terrorist target list, and our nation must close the cargo loophole that continues to put lives and our economy at risk,” said Markey, adding that terrorists have begun to turn their attention to less protected all-cargo aircrafts. 

The Air Cargo Security Act would require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a system that would screen 100 percent of cargo transported on all-cargo aircrafts within three years, with half of the cargo screened within 18 months.

New passenger screening techniques also came to the forefront Tuesday.

While on Capitol Hill to discuss cargo security, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, was asked about also Advanced Imaging Technology (full body scanners) and enhanced pat-downs. 

Pistole defended the TSA’s techniques, saying that the agency has to balance privacy concerns with flight security.  Meanwhile, a website is calling on passengers to “opt out” of the full-body scans during Thanksgiving travel, when an estimated 24 million passengers will take to the skies.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Pilot Union Calls for New Approach to Cargo Security

Photo Courtesy - ABC News | WFAA-TV Dallas-Ft. Worth(WASHINGTON) -- The largest pilots union has called for a new air cargo screening method based on risk rather than a "one-size-fits-all" approach.

The Air Line Pilots Association in a news release Wednesday asked for a tailored approach to screening amid concerns over cargo security.  

"We know that risk-based screening and other security enhancements are urgently needed to close existing gaps that put at risk passengers, cargo, and pilots, as well as persons on the ground, if a terrorist were to be successful in bringing down an aircraft over a major metropolitan area,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president.

ALPA argued that all-cargo operations should use a threat-based approach that treats trustworthy and reliable shippers differently from those who are less reliable or less known.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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