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Law "Seeks to Make UK Citizens Bad Samaritans."


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If you want to discuss the politics of illegal immigration, or advocate shooting them or any of those discussions, TAKE THAT SHIT TO PA.

"The Royal Yacht Association (RYA) has warned its members against rescuing migrants at sea amid fears they could be prosecuted and jailed for people smuggling."  https://www.yahoo.com/news/leave-drowning-migrants-die-face-175734645.html 

Seems to go against the law of the sea. The US, and many other places, it is actually legally codified that you must render assistance. It is also UN Convention.

46 U.S. Code § 2304 - Duty to provide assistance at sea - A master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master's or individual's vessel or individuals on board.

United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea

1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:

a. to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost;
b. to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such action may reasonably be expected of him

UNCLOS : http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf 

 

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My personal take is the law is very poorly written - and apparently it was passed explicitly knowing that, with the expectation that it would need to be amended/rewritten.  That seems like poor governance.

The practicalities of these situations are often a complicated.  We once encountered a ill-found vessel quite overloaded with people - we had no way of knowing for sure their status or backgrounds.  They desperately wanted to get on our vessel, but there were too many of them, and I was pretty sure I could not control them, and I had no way to know if there were guns or violent criminals mixed in with them . . . and they were not in immediate danger.  So we stood off, called in for officials and waited until told we could proceed.  If there had been people in the water, in immediate danger, I would have tried to figure a way to get them without engaging those still aboard the other vessel . . . but I was very honestly not going to put my vessel and crew at any significant risk and I believe I was firmly within the law placing my vessel and crews safety first.

 

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11 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

So we stood off, called in for officials and waited until told we could proceed. 

That's the crux of it. 

You can render aid by calling for law enforcement/lifesaving assistance and standing by. Worst case, you can render aid and take people onboard if they are in imminent danger and transfer them to law enforcement/government authorities. That's not "human smuggling."  If you render aid and dump people on shore, releasing them into the general population...that could be considered trafficking.

Fascinating story.

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My personal opinion is:

You have to assist, no matter what the law or a convention says.

If you discuss how people got themselves into that mess, you're politician first, human second.

If you act to help people out of it, it's the other way around.

Guess what way bodes well with your maker, cometh the day.

 

Ceterum censeo: PA.

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4 hours ago, Baldur said:

If you want to discuss the politics of illegal immigration, or advocate shooting them or any of those discussions, TAKE THAT SHIT TO PA.

"The Royal Yacht Association (RYA) has warned its members against rescuing migrants at sea amid fears they could be prosecuted and jailed for people smuggling."  https://www.yahoo.com/news/leave-drowning-migrants-die-face-175734645.html 

Seems to go against the law of the sea. The US, and many other places, it is actually legally codified that you must render assistance. It is also UN Convention.

46 U.S. Code § 2304 - Duty to provide assistance at sea - A master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master's or individual's vessel or individuals on board.

United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea

1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:

a. to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost;
b. to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such action may reasonably be expected of him

UNCLOS : http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf 

 

When sailing in immigrant zones you are told by the authorities to not approach … stand off and alert the authorities 

attempted rescues cause many deaths 

immigrants on your boat can be considered people smuggling 

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2 hours ago, slug zitski said:

attempted rescues cause many deaths 

There is something to this.  These people are desperate and may trample or drown each other trying to board another vessel. 

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Just now, Ajax said:

There is something to this.  These people are desperate and may trample or drown each other trying to board another vessel. 

The typical mass casualty   event is when all the immigrants  on the boat move to one side when you approach  and the boat capsizes 

this has happened so many times that the authorities request that you stay one mile away from the immigrant boat and stand by 

AB60EB28-81B3-47E6-9C17-0969808F964D.jpeg

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15 minutes ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Well, this is a timely thread. 31+ migrants drowned in the English Channel today when their boat sank.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/migrant-boat-capsizes-english-channel-1.6261357

Hopefully there are no RYA members with guilty consciences tonight...

Why would  they have a guilty conscience ?

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9 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

I did 

 

I get your point about standing off so they don't capsize whatever tub they're on, but the RYA seems to advocate not rendering assistance by plucking anyone drowning out of the water lest the member be charged with people smuggling...I'm not suggesting that happened but not assisting someone in dire need should give one pangs of conscience. YMMV. As Matagi said, "Ceterum censeo: PA" (Take that shit to PA)

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Skirting the edge of PA here:

The bigger issue is they set out INTENDING to be in distress and requiring rescue. The various authorities are trying to deal with not having people die while also not encouraging the next load to leave.

On a practical level, what are you going to do with 50-100-200 people on your boat?

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6 minutes ago, Jim in Halifax said:

I get your point about standing off so they don't capsize whatever tub they're on, but the RYA seems to advocate not rendering assistance by plucking anyone drowning out of the water lest the member be charged with people smuggling...I'm not suggesting that happened but not assisting someone in dire need should give one pangs of conscience. YMMV. As Matagi said, "Ceterum censeo: PA" (Take that shit to PA)

This is true 

do not approach unless directed by the authorities 

when you come across an immigrant vessel in trouble you initiate a Mayday relay , then await instructions 

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7 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Skirting the edge of PA here:

The bigger issue is they set out INTENDING to be in distress and requiring rescue. The various authorities are trying to deal with not having people die while also not encouraging the next load to leave.

On a practical level, what are you going to do with 50-100-200 people on your boat?

This is political so it's the only comment I'm going to make.

What Australia did to combat this was to acquire a bunch of lifeboats. 'Irregular migrants' were calling for rescue, sinking their boats when an Australian vessel appeared and were taken to an Australian port of entry. Well, we started loading them into the lifeboats, sailing 12.1 NM from the territorial waters of the country they left from and pointing them towards shore.

Mostly they stopped coming.

FKT

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On 11/24/2021 at 11:27 PM, Fah Kiew Tu said:

This is political so it's the only comment I'm going to make.

What Australia did to combat this was to acquire a bunch of lifeboats. 'Irregular migrants' were calling for rescue, sinking their boats when an Australian vessel appeared and were taken to an Australian port of entry. Well, we started loading them into the lifeboats, sailing 12.1 NM from the territorial waters of the country they left from and pointing them towards shore.

Mostly they stopped coming.

FKT

I other words, "Idgaf if the OP asked for political shit to go to PA. I've got an opp her to make a political statement, so I'm doing it anyway."

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22 minutes ago, Baldur said:

I other words, "Idgaf if the OP asked for political shit to go to PA. I've got an opp her to make a political statement, so I'm doing it anyway."

I call bullshit: The post that you originally made here has a lot of political implications. You can't chastise people for discussing this issue in its entirety, which is firmly based in economics, which happens to be firmly related to "politics." In fact, I think that if FKT hadn't put his lead sentence in his post, he would not have gotten a reaction from you.

If you post a thread about domestic violence, but demand that people not talk about wife-beating, you've only set a trap whereby you can excoriate people for breaking your rules.

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There are some layers of nuance here.

At least in the USA, there is no way you run any legal risk when rescuing people in distress. You are not the immigration police, your only job is to save them.

That said - if you just cruise on into port with 50 Haitians stuffed on your boat and don't say a word to anyone unless asked, THEN you would be at risk. It would turn into a no-fault smuggling operation otherwise, if you encounter the USCG say to just rescued them and cruise on in and put them ashore if you don't. It would seem a call to the relevant authorities would be step 1 in these encounters.

EDIT - probably should have read the whole thing first. This is nuts, it seems like a UK boat picking up even one drowning kid would turn themselves into a Flying Dutchman and either have to sail around forever or throw the kid back in to be able to come home :o

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And my point is just that the immigrant issue is by definition one rooted in politics. It doesn't matter how you or I feel about the issue. The migration of people, and the reactions of governments, are what create these human crises. It's a political situation by definition. At least IMO.

On an individual basis if you were in the situation, ^^ KI Sailor pretty well sums it up. That and the points made here that, in the case of overloaded vessels, you potentially put both the refugees and yourself at risk by approaching.

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1 hour ago, Israel Hands said:

And my point is just that the immigrant issue is by definition one rooted in politics. It doesn't matter how you or I feel about the issue. The migration of people, and the reactions of governments, are what create these human crises. It's a political situation by definition. At least IMO.

On an individual basis if you were in the situation, ^^ KI Sailor pretty well sums it up. That and the points made here that, in the case of overloaded vessels, you potentially put both the refugees and yourself at risk by approaching.

Refugees are definitely a political problem. I think we can all agree on that.

For CA I think what to do if you find them is more apropos than why they are out there. The Haitian boat people thing looks to be getting going again over here.

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In the Florida Keys a couple of decades ago there were a lot of boats offshore foundering and sinking overloaded with migrants. There was a big problem with wanting to help but if you brought them ashore, you would be arrested. So you would just call the Marine police and stand off period. You also never touched anything that looked like drugs(bales,kilos). Hell, if you were smart, you wouldn’t even report it, just get the hell away from them. 

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11 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

In the Florida Keys a couple of decades ago there were a lot of boats offshore foundering and sinking overloaded with migrants. There was a big problem with wanting to help but if you brought them ashore, you would be arrested. So you would just call the Marine police and stand off period. You also never touched anything that looked like drugs(bales,kilos). Hell, if you were smart, you wouldn’t even report it, just get the hell away from them. 

Could you clarify?

I can see getting arrested for just putting them ashore no questions asked no authorities informed. See the "no fault smuggling" issue.

What I can't see is calling the CG and saying "I just rescued 10 people from a sinking boat" and getting the answer back "Well we'll come arrest you now".

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Generally, there are a large number of people who you have no knowledge of or may pose a grave risk of danger since they are desperate to escape Cuba or Haiti at any cost. Coast Guard and Marine Police are usually only minutes away and the instruction is generally to stand by and let the professionals handle the situation. As Slug pointed out, they sometimes sink their own boat trying to get on to yours. Imagine 30-40 people trying to board your sailboat successfully.

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6 hours ago, Baldur said:

I other words, "Idgaf if the OP asked for political shit to go to PA. I've got an opp her to make a political statement, so I'm doing it anyway."

Yep. Your original post was political, you made it here, shit flows downhill. If you want to get your panties in a wad, feel free. Downvote me, like I'm going to care.

Australia came up with a safe way of returning attempted undocumented migrants to their country of departure. They got rescued in line with obligations under the rules and then returned. I can't see what your problem is. Maybe the UK will do the same thing.

FKT

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There are two aspects to this: the politics of migration, and the humanitarian issue of saving lives at sea.

What's happened here is that the politics of migration have decided to trample on UNCLOS obligations.

Whatever view anyone takes of the politics, it places mariners in an invidious position, caught between two legal frameworks.

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"Panties in a wad" or "knickers in a twist"... I suppose these could be misognistic, but they are usually used male to male to describe what happens when haberdashery and male junk interfere with each other - i.e. an uncomfortable situation. FKT doesn't need me as his apologist, but I must say that our antipodean friends have a wonderful knack for a turn of phrase. Of course, YMMV.

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21 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yep. Your original post was political, you made it here, shit flows downhill. If you want to get your panties in a wad, feel free. Downvote me, like I'm going to care.

Australia came up with a safe way of returning attempted undocumented migrants to their country of departure. They got rescued in line with obligations under the rules and then returned. I can't see what your problem is. Maybe the UK will do the same thing.

FKT

In this case they would be returning them to France, which probably won't go over well.

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On 11/26/2021 at 1:01 PM, Sail4beer said:

In the Florida Keys a couple of decades ago there were a lot of boats offshore foundering and sinking overloaded with migrants. There was a big problem with wanting to help but if you brought them ashore, you would be arrested. So you would just call the Marine police and stand off period. You also never touched anything that looked like drugs(bales,kilos). Hell, if you were smart, you wouldn’t even report it, just get the hell away from them. 

 

On 11/26/2021 at 1:15 PM, kent_island_sailor said:

Could you clarify?

I can see getting arrested for just putting them ashore no questions asked no authorities informed. See the "no fault smuggling" issue.

What I can't see is calling the CG and saying "I just rescued 10 people from a sinking boat" and getting the answer back "Well we'll come arrest you now".

I remember one case where a Florida boat owner, who also happened to be Cuban so sympathized, ran some people on to shore they had rescued.  And ended up made an example of.  Was years ago so the details are fuzzy, but he was facing prison time and six figure fines.  This was back when the US had the policy of 'One foot on land', if they placed one foot on dry land they could stay in the US.  If they were rescued at sea, they were returned to Cuba.

Just a shot in the dark, but guessing the UK law is aiming to squash any of the do-gooder NGO's that were running around in the Med picking up boats from Libya and delivering them to the EU.  Haven't heard of any groups starting that in the Channel, but it's only a matter of time.

 

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I was there during that period of time and even when the Cubans got to shore, they would be rounded up and a number of immigration/ border patrol busses would come and pick them up and transport them up to 
Miami and place them in refugee camps for a period of time. Probably in shitty conditions.

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41 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

I was there during that period of time and even when the Cubans got to shore, they would be rounded up and a number of immigration/ border patrol busses would come and pick them up and transport them up to 
Miami and place them in refugee camps for a period of time. Probably in shitty conditions.

This is in more recent history.  Clinton started the 'Wet foot, dry foot' policy.  And it was ended by one of Obama's last acts as POTUS.

 

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Dilligaf is correct the law change is to stop NGOs acting as a taxi service.

Technically none of these people coming across the channel are refugees, they are already in a safe country, they are choosing to travel half way round the world for a better life that's economic migrants.

They interviewed some "refugees" on TV recently,  they had sold houses and cars to fund the trip. Were using mobile phones at high international rates, purely to choose where to live. Many were in no danger in their home state in the first place..

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7 hours ago, The Q said:

Dilligaf is correct the law change is to stop NGOs acting as a taxi service.

Technically none of these people coming across the channel are refugees, they are already in a safe country, they are choosing to travel half way round the world for a better life that's economic migrants.

They interviewed some "refugees" on TV recently,  they had sold houses and cars to fund the trip. Were using mobile phones at high international rates, purely to choose where to live. Many were in no danger in their home state in the first place..

It’s best to simply follow the rules and ask authorities for advice whenever you are in a difficult situation 

the authorities have vast experience and proper equipment 

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On 11/27/2021 at 3:14 PM, Dilligaf0220 said:

 

I remember one case where a Florida boat owner, who also happened to be Cuban so sympathized, ran some people on to shore they had rescued.  And ended up made an example of.  Was years ago so the details are fuzzy, but he was facing prison time and six figure fines.  This was back when the US had the policy of 'One foot on land', if they placed one foot on dry land they could stay in the US.  If they were rescued at sea, they were returned to Cuba.

Just a shot in the dark, but guessing the UK law is aiming to squash any of the do-gooder NGO's that were running around in the Med picking up boats from Libya and delivering them to the EU.  Haven't heard of any groups starting that in the Channel, but it's only a matter of time.

 

The Floridian was not busted for rescuing people, he was busted for sneaking them ashore. I can't imagine he would have been in any trouble at all if he had called the CG and asked what to do with them.

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6 hours ago, slug zitski said:

It’s best to simply follow the rules and ask authorities for advice whenever you are in a difficult situation 

the authorities have vast experience and proper equipment 

And authority 

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On 11/27/2021 at 9:28 PM, Jim in Halifax said:

"Panties in a wad" or "knickers in a twist"... I suppose these could be misognistic, but they are usually used male to male to describe what happens when haberdashery and male junk interfere with each other - i.e. an uncomfortable situation. FKT doesn't need me as his apologist, but I must say that our antipodean friends have a wonderful knack for a turn of phrase. Of course, YMMV.

Unfortunately it's a little subtler than that.  In common Australian usage the terms Panties and Knickers only refer to female underwear, so there are many ways in which this ends up very gendered.  And a male saying that to a female is typically not an affirmative statement.

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On 11/28/2021 at 8:49 AM, The Q said:

Technically none of these people coming across the channel are refugees, they are already in a safe country, they are choosing to travel half way round the world for a better life that's economic migrants.

A very convenient rule for a country that is surrounded by countries considered safe.  But is it even UK law?  Someone stood up in the House of Lords and pointed out that even the Home Office, so dedicated to sending Johnny Foreigner back to where he came from (Russian Oligarchs and money launderers excepted) accepts over 70% of asylum applications from people crossing the channel (https://twitter.com/OliDugmore/status/1464536696138178569).  If they were, by definition, economic migrants, that would not be happening.

Also, as I understand it, the UK, like the USA, does not accept asylum applications until someone is in the UK.

On 11/28/2021 at 8:49 AM, The Q said:

They interviewed some "refugees" on TV recently,  they had sold houses and cars to fund the trip. Were using mobile phones at high international rates, purely to choose where to live.

I expected economic migrants to be poor.  And if someone sells everything they have for a risky trip to a country known for an unsympathetic asylum policy, I would have thought that indicates some degree of desperation.

On 11/28/2021 at 8:49 AM, The Q said:

Many were in no danger in their home state in the first place..

And did they say that, or is that your inference?

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5 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I may fire up a PA thread on this asylum issue, it is interesting. Meanwhile for CA, I don't really care WHY someone is floating around out there, the CA perspective is what do you do when you find them.

Call the authorities & stand by unless their vessel is actually sinking.

The rest is indeed PA territory.

FKT

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