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Old 12-04-2016, 20:21   #31
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

The question reminded me of this article from earlier in the year.

Lifeguard, baby at sea: 'I broke this poor lady's heart' - CNN.com

"Lewis, who was among a team of Australian lifeguards who were helping overstretched and exhausted Greek rescue workers, said if a boat was in trouble outside EU waters, his team could not touch it, much less attach a rope to it and tow it to safety in Greece.
He and his team knew at one point that a particular boat headed their way was in trouble in Turkish waters, and the team prepared to receive it. But boat never made it out of Turkish waters, he said, and 31 people drowned over the horizon as Lewis' team waited, helpless, on the Greek side of the border."

Just know whose water you are in at all times. This won't be such a problem in the Ionian as the Aegean.
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Old 12-04-2016, 21:19   #32
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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Originally Posted by tp12 View Post
It's all a bit grim but, thank you. Do you mean the closure of the Turkish northern border?

I really need to read more on this...
A brief summary:

The border between Greece and Macedonia closed in February. About 10,000 people have been camped out there hoping for the border to reopen so they could make their way further north to more affluent EU countries.

There have been skirmishes with Macedonian officials when attempts have been made to cross. Greek authorities are trying to relocate the refugees (from other areas such as Pireus port, as well) with little success.

With the closure of the border and the new agreement in place with Turkey regarding the return of refugees, the number of people arriving to the eastern Greek islands by boat has dropped dramatically.

The whole situation is in a volatile state.

SWL
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Old 12-04-2016, 21:43   #33
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
A brief summary:

The border between Greece and Macedonia closed in February. About 10,000 people have been camped out there hoping for the border to reopen so they could make their way further north to more affluent EU countries.

There have been skirmishes with Macedonian officials when attempts have been made to cross. Greek authorities are trying to relocate the refugees (from other areas such as Pireus port, as well) with little success.

With the closure of the border and the new agreement in place with Turkey regarding the return of refugees, the number of people arriving to the eastern Greek islands by boat has dropped dramatically.

The whole situation is in a volatile state.

SWL
Thanks again. I'm a way off sailing there so I'll need to keep current. Boatie has kindly listed out a number of sources for this so I'll keep a weather eye on them.

Cheers!
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Old 12-04-2016, 22:48   #34
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

Try listening to ABC News Radio 630 on the AM dial.


Watch SBS news at night.
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Old 12-04-2016, 23:50   #35
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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Try listening to ABC News Radio 630 on the AM dial.
What's this radio thing you speak of? I thought they only came in cars?


Quote:
Originally Posted by DtM
Watch SBS news at night.
Another good idea; I'll do that tonight.
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Old 13-04-2016, 05:42   #36
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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We are a short hand crew on. 43' sail boat. My wife and I have agreed on a protocol in cas of emergency with people in the water. We agreed that under no circumstances we would take them on board for safety reason. However we would through them our lifevests, leave them our dinghy and call the coast guards with a MOB position. The criminal that arranged the crossing is usually not on board so chances of a highjacking is unlikely. Nonetheless we would use our Greek or Turkish phone to call the coast guards since those interceptions occur no more than 5 nm from either an island or the coast.
We had this discussion with a number of sailors before we left Tunisia last year. That would have been our position, including the life raft. Then someone pointed out that my first responsibility was the safety of our 'ship' and crew, and what if the life raft was needed by us later on?

Sobering thought, so we now have the policy that we would report over VHF if we could get a response, but we would stand off, and keep all safety gear for ourselves. Desperate people do desperate things, so definitely not get near, but watching people drowning when you may be able to help ......

We were advised by another to divert course so we could not see anything, and just keep going.

Also, if you did pick any up, and presuming you were not over-powered and then took them to a port, you can be deemed to be assisting illegal migration.
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Old 13-04-2016, 06:58   #37
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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We had this discussion with a number of sailors before we left Tunisia last year. That would have been our position, including the life raft. Then someone pointed out that my first responsibility was the safety of our 'ship' and crew, and what if the life raft was needed by us later on?

Sobering thought, so we now have the policy that we would report over VHF if we could get a response, but we would stand off, and keep all safety gear for ourselves. Desperate people do desperate things, so definitely not get near, but watching people drowning when you may be able to help ......
I don't see how using ones life raft, dingy and anything else that floats, fenders included to save the life of others in water is a security risk to ones boat, think about it, does the boat need a inflated life raft to stay afloat. just head to the nearest harbor and pick up a new one.
Karma is a bitch!

But I would not take 30 to 40 or even 20 persons onto say a 44 yacht, stability issues could get pretty dinky, depending on the boat of course but imagine 30 below decks lurching to one side from the swell, 10 from the cockpit being frown over board and so on, take two many on board and you might actually end up needing the life raft and that is a case you can argue in court, safety do to stability issues but running away from drowning people without doing anything...
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Old 13-04-2016, 12:42   #38
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

There are no immigrands in Ionian sea, period. There are no immigrands even in the East coat of Mainland Greece. Last Week I sailed 160 NM with my Westerly Centaur from Volos (Magnisia) to Thessaloniki, I stopped by to see friends in many small porst , Like Agia Kyriaki, and Kamari (check on the map for this places) NOT ONE immigrant.
Half of the immigrants in Greece are at the Greek FYR Macedonian borders and other half near or arround Athens (Hellinikon Airport, Skaramanga, Piraeus Port etc. )
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Old 13-04-2016, 12:47   #39
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

No refugees in Ionian Sea- Even on the East coast of Mainland Greece. I was sailing last week my westerly centaur from Volos to Thessaloniki (Central to Northern Greece) - I sailed some 160 NM and stopped in couple of small ports to see friends (Agia Kiriaki and Kamari) NOT ONE Refugee.
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Old 14-04-2016, 00:08   #40
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

We have been sailing the Tunisian and Greek waters for the past 2 years. When we left Lampadusa for Tunisia the CG said if we saw anything call them on the vhf or ssb and gave us a frequency - we did not see a thing and it was a night crossing when the migrants try to make their run

We said the Ionian and you got to be kidding on migrants - way out of the way - well for now -- one of these days the smugglers will figure out how to get more money out of the migrants by trying to run them to Italy or Albania from Greece.
We sailed the Aegean this past summer and saw a number of migrants on land but none at sea as we sailed in good weather and in the daylight and the smugglers run at night in bad weather to avoid the CG

If we did see some we would call the CG and stay off a bit and update the CG until they arrive -
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Old 14-04-2016, 12:04   #41
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

Have you ever hoisted somebody aboard under storm conditions?

I would think most would be blown away, quickly scattered.

Say you get 10 aboard and that is your safe limit, what do you do about the other 40 that are trying to climb aboard. As an ex lifeguard, firefighter, people will climb onto anything that floats ... until it sinks.

Rule 1 Self Rescue First, Then Your Crew, Then Anybody Else, that's how the pros play.

If people are in the water, I would back off, call CG, and only get involved if I could do so safely.
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Old 14-04-2016, 13:09   #42
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

Two more things! Last summer, we witnessed at least 8 boats with +/- 50 people crossing in day time between 10h and 14h along the coasts of Turkey opposite Lesvos. We actual were on a collision course with 2 of them. So not not at night!!!
Secondly beware in those channels of the large quantities of debris in the water which have reportedly caused severe damages on the propeller, shaft and engine. We highly recommend you cross those channels under sails and avoid using the engine. Many fisherman Now avoid those areas.
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Old 14-04-2016, 17:59   #43
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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Originally Posted by NorthCoastJoe View Post

Rule 1 Self Rescue First, Then Your Crew, Then Anybody Else, that's how the pros play.

If people are in the water, I would back off, call CG, and only get involved if I could do so safely.
Agreed, but apparently if we throw them our life raft, and therefore we lose our means of rescue if we later hit something and start sinking, it will not be a problem as we can:

"just head to the nearest harbor and pick up a new one".

We would do what we could, but not at the risk then or later, to ourselves.
Very difficult out there.
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Old 31-08-2016, 10:26   #44
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

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LOL

Look at the map, the Ionian is no where near the refugees.

Just plan on treating any refugees you find in the Ionian in the same way you would treat refugees when sailing of Freo.
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It is not refugees travelling from Turkey that are the concern, but refugees from Greece . With the closure of the northern border there has been some talk regarding the potential for Greek traffickers to transport some of the 50,000+ refugees currently stranded in Greece over to Italy.
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Even if refugees were to be setting off from North Western Greece, the Ionian cruising grounds are only the first couple of miles of a 60+ nm journey and the likelihood that they will be be requiring assistance or anything else from cruisers in the Ionian cruising grounds that could cause concern is quite frankly laughable

Worrying about this is like the paranoia about Greece for tourists during the bailout issues last year
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No refugees in Ionian Sea- Even on the East coast of Mainland Greece. I was sailing last week my westerly centaur from Volos to Thessaloniki (Central to Northern Greece) - I sailed some 160 NM and stopped in couple of small ports to see friends (Agia Kiriaki and Kamari) NOT ONE Refugee.
It has started. One of the first vessels was picked up today, but I bet it is not the first that has made or attempted to make the crossing to Italy:

Migrants rescued off Paxos by Greek coast guard | News | ekathimerini.com

"A drifting vessel with 28 migrants on board was towed to safety on Wednesday by the Hellenic Coast Guard after being located by port authorities 25 nautical miles west of the tiny Ionian island of Paxos.

According to reports, the passengers, who were in good health, said they had sailed from Preveza early in the morning, heading for Italy, but started drifting after a mechanical failure.

The migrants and the skipper were transported to the Igoumenitsa Port Authority."
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Old 31-08-2016, 10:59   #45
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Re: Sailing Greek Ionian and refugees 2016

So that's where they got to, didn't see any when I was around Kos, Simi, Rhodes and when I sailed to Fethiye
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