Agents search for possible stowaways at NJ port
A cargo ship believed to be carrying stowaways was seized at a Newark port on Wednesday after it arrived following stops in India and Egypt to pick up freight, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Agents said they heard what sounded like people in a container in the ship's hold when it was stopped under the Verrazano Bridge around 3 a.m., Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said.
Crews spent all day examining the nearly 2,000 containers on the Ville D'Aquarius after it was moved to the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal.
Rowe said authorities determined the container where the sounds were heard couldn't be opened in the ship's hold, because it was too far below the deck and stacked with other containers.
The container in question had not been opened as of Wednesday afternoon and was being moved by crane to a dock so it could be checked, Rowe said.
The ship, which was flying a Cyprus flag, started its journey in the United Arab Emirates, on May 30 and made a stop in Pakistan, on June 2.
It then made two stops in India on June 5 and June 7, where the container in question, which was said to be carrying machine parts, was taken onboard, according to the manifest, Rowe said.
The ship stopped in Egypt on June 15 and then headed for Newark. It was ultimately bound for Norfolk, VA.