Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med! - Page 5 - SailNet Community
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post #41 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

It's abundantly clear that each Captain will make their own choice, in each given situation. No blathering here is going to change another's mind, nor should it.

It's fair information to consider that one's rescue effort could be overwhelmed in a variety of ways, by the victims. Proceed as you see fit. I'll do the same.

I'm sure I'd respond differently to a bunch of airline passengers standing on the wing of a ditched airplane than I would to a 25ft skiff in known piracy waters, with a half dozen young men waving me over. All scenarios in between will depend on my judgement. As will yours. Period.

Unfortunately, the article on this particular event is remarkably lacking details to be able to consider what I might have done. Were they armed, did they just overwhelm the crew by number, etc.

A refugee is neither legal nor illegal, it's just a definition of circumstance. It doesn't entitle anyone to anything either. It is clearly illegal to enter virtually all civilized countries, without permission. For the less civilized countries, they're more likely to just kill you as a potential threat.
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post #42 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

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Originally Posted by Rmaddy View Post
If the water taxi captains who rescued Sulli and his passengers in the Hudson instead held off, saying "Desperate people can be dangerous people"--what would you think of them?
If this was aimed at my me, then I’m not sure what your question, or point is. Please explain.

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post #43 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants!

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
What makes you think you would be allowed to radio the coast guard?

On this sinking raft is 30 people including 10 babies and children under 10 some of which are in the water hanging onto the over crowded raft. You see at least 1 dead body floating in the water. On the raft are at least 5 women in high distress, and at least 10 men distressed and who's only thought is to save the lives of their families.
The adults know if they are returned to the previous country they will be shot.
To kill you and your wife and crew so they can get to asylum safely means nothing to them.

What do you do?

Take them on board where you risk your life?
Ring the Coast Guard/Navy? They say you are in International Waters and you are not to bring them into their country.

What do you do?
You could throw them a few bottles of water and notify the U.S. Coast Guard . . . and if you have plenty of floatation devices, you might be able to throw those to them, to help save their lives, but I wonder if that would make you an accomplice, like a coyote, for assisting them to cross the border illegally.
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants!

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Originally Posted by Scottelly View Post
U.S. Coast Guard . . ..
I have seen this mentioned a few times, but I think in the Mediteranean you would be looking for Frontex.


https://frontex.europa.eu/

Actually, a Mayday relay addressed to all stations, or no one in particular might be appropriate.
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Last edited by Arcb; 03-29-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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post #45 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

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Originally Posted by Rmaddy View Post
If the water taxi captains who rescued Sulli and his passengers in the Hudson instead held off, saying "Desperate people can be dangerous people"--what would you think of them?
Are you really comparing a US carrier aircraft doing an announced emergency landing on the Hudson in NYC to an unknown boat off the Barbary coast in the Atlantic, or are you just trolling us? I'm sure your analogical reasoning skills are better than that.
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post #46 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

I certainly would not put a 50-foot boat into a position where 100 plus panicking people had the ability to clamber aboard. It wouldn't save any lives and probably cost the crew of the 50 footer theirs.
Compassion only goes so far and if one cannot make any difference in a situation, then it is best for all to call the authorities and not get involved. From everything I've read about these Med catastrophes, every person has a pfd of some sort, so jumping in thoughtlessly is probably not the best course of action.
It's a lovely dream to come alongside a boat loaded with desperate people and offer safety to children and women if there is room, but in reality, human beings generally will ignore civility in order to save their own lives at the cost of any others.
There is not a very fine line between being a responsible captain and a compassionate person. Safety of the captain's vessel and crew always come first.
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post #47 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

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I certainly would not put a 50-foot boat into a position where 100 plus panicking people had the ability to clamber aboard. It wouldn't save any lives and probably cost the crew of the 50 footer theirs.
Compassion only goes so far and if one cannot make any difference in a situation, then it is best for all to call the authorities and not get involved. From everything I've read about these Med catastrophes, every person has a pfd of some sort, so jumping in thoughtlessly is probably not the best course of action.
It's a lovely dream to come alongside a boat loaded with desperate people and offer safety to children and women if there is room, but in reality, human beings generally will ignore civility in order to save their own lives at the cost of any others.
There is not a very fine line between being a responsible captain and a compassionate person. Safety of the captain's vessel and crew always come first.
I find this viewpoint interesting, coming from someone who sails for a living somewhere where he may actually come into contact with suspicious boats. Whereas folks who sail on inland lakes/in Canada and have zero chances of encountering migrant boats, are more apt to claim that they could never pass one without offering assistance. I guess distance does make the heart grow fonder/braver.
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post #48 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants!

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
What makes you think you would be allowed to radio the coast guard?

On this sinking raft is 30 people including 10 babies and children under 10 some of which are in the water hanging onto the over crowded raft. You see at least 1 dead body floating in the water. On the raft are at least 5 women in high distress, and at least 10 men distressed and who's only thought is to save the lives of their families.
The adults know if they are returned to the previous country they will be shot.
To kill you and your wife and crew so they can get to asylum safely means nothing to them.

What do you do?

Take them on board where you risk your life?
Ring the Coast Guard/Navy? They say you are in International Waters and you are not to bring them into their country.

What do you do?
I don't know. Guess the moral thing is to let them kill you have your boat.

If you do nothing, is the guy in the USVI going to charge you with manslaughter?

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post #49 of 94 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

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Whereas folks who sail on inland lakes/in Canada and have zero chances of encountering migrant boats, are more apt to claim that they could never pass one without offering assistance
There is a grey area here. One could stand off a distance, call for third party assistance and monitor the situation.

That satisfies both camps, you provide assistance in the form of communication, tracking and reassurance, while at the same time not unduly endangering your vessel.

This type of assistance is pretty common. Ships come to the aid of other vessels and yachts from time to time, but are unable to render direct assistance due to sea state or maneuverability or some other challenge but do stand by until a more suitable rescue vessel arrives.
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Re: Do not pick up illegal migrants in the Med!

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Originally Posted by Seaman_3rdClass View Post
I find this viewpoint interesting, coming from someone who sails for a living somewhere where he may actually come into contact with suspicious boats. Whereas folks who sail on inland lakes/in Canada and have zero chances of encountering migrant boats, are more apt to claim that they could never pass one without offering assistance. I guess distance does make the heart grow fonder/braver.

Now you've got me completely confused. I thought this thread was about dealing with migrants or boat people on the high seas, not suspicious boats one might encounter that could be a danger.
Two completely different subjects IMO and probably two different threads, though the 'suspicious boat' (pirate?) thing had been hashed to death on this and every other forum. If you are interested I believe there is a search feature on the page somewhere.
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“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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