Stowaways on Dutch Navy Vessel after Ebola mission

Ruben Veenstra for Veenstra & De Vries Aviation Publishing

According to a written statement issued by the Royal Netherlands Navy, crewmembers of the Karel Doorman have found three stowaway passengers while en route to their home port in the Netherlands. Small detail: the fugitives gained access to the ship after it delivered humanitarian aid to West-Africa in the battle against Ebola.

Apparently the stowaways climbed the mooring ropes while the ship was in Dakar harbor. Local security officials guarded the area where the Karel Doorman was docked while crewmembers stood watch over the Karel Doorman. Still, despite these efforts the fugitives where able to hide themselves in the Doorman’s rescue boats. According to the RNN the standard security procedures “are being reviewed”.

Karel Doorman refuels HNLMS Tromp

Karel Doorman (right) refuels the HNLMS Tromp / Ministry of Defense

The multi-role Karel Doorman, a Joint logistics Support Ship, is the largest ship ever built for the Dutch. It will be used to replenish other ships with fuel and goods and act like a mobile helicopter base for Chinooks and NH90s. It can also transport Army and Marine materiel like trucks and tanks. While it will officially enter into service later this year, it embarked on humanitarian missions in November and December.

In the end the crew was lucky: the fugitives were immediately tested, and cleared, for signs of Ebola by the onboard medical staff. A close call for the newest ship of the fleet.