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Old 08-09-2013, 20:03   #1
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Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

Something came up during a discussion about Hurricanes, credit to Rakuflames for bringing it up. Can a Marina turn away a vessel seeking refuge during a hurricane? This came up during Ike, a boat was turned away from a marina, who will remain nameless, and this vessel suffered severe damage. This marina did not have significant loss, so it is reasonable to assume this boat would of been ok, had the marina allowed refuge.

For full disclosure, I do not know this vessel. My friend, who I trust and known since i was 19, told me about this situation after the storm. He is friends with the owners of this vessel, and was involved in the last minute scramble to save the boat. He was outraged over the situation and said it was against the law to turn a vessel away. I assumed what he said was true, but maybe it was a statement made during the outrage and stress of seeing all the destruction. Though he is not the type to even exaggerate.

Anyways, does anyone know the answer?
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:11   #2
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

Not only is it perfectly legal to turn a boat away, some marinas actually require their resident boats to leave during a hurricane, and they won't even suggest where one should go, that's the owners problem. If the owner doesn't show up to remove the boat, the staff will take it out of the Marina, drop the hook some place and leave the boat on its own.
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:17   #3
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
Not only is it perfectly legal to turn a boat away, some marinas actually require their resident boats to leave during a hurricane, and they won't even suggest where one should go, that's the owners problem. If the owner doesn't show up to remove the boat, the staff will take it out of the Marina, drop the hook some place and leave the boat on its own.
what he said
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:23   #4
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A marina is private property and a business who reserves the right to refuse service to anyone.
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:25   #5
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

What are your locations?

I guess I should of said, marinas that don't regularly evacuate due to poor location or dock design.
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:30   #6
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:39   #7
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

It's also possible that the marina had already promised it's slips to other boats. In Miami it's common for boaters to bring their boats up the Miami river when a storm threatens. Most have made arrangements even paid ahead of time for a place to tie up.
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Old 08-09-2013, 20:57   #8
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?Something came up during a discussion about Hurricanes, credit to Rakuflames for bringing it up. Can a Marina turn away a vessel seeking refuge during a hurricane? This came up during Ike, a boat was turned away from a marina, who will remain nameless, and this vessel suffered severe damage. This marina did not have significant loss, so it is reasonable to assume this boat would of been ok, had the marina allowed refuge. Anyways, does anyone know the answer?
The answer is no.
The Safe Harbour in no way presumes the right to someones private property. Also it is folly to assume the vessel would have been less damaged in said Marina. Responsibility for damage lies at the feet of the captain who failed to secure the vessel.
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Old 08-09-2013, 21:10   #9
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

So what does "safe harbor" mean? I've always assumed, that where I am, in an emergency, a vessel could anchor behind the breakwater, which is protected water, even though anchoring is not normally allowed by the local city. It's not private property.
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Old 08-09-2013, 21:24   #10
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

I know several places in Florida that require boats to leave when a hurricane is coming. Marinas here are not required to cover your butt. A failure of planning on the part of the captain does not constitute an emergency on the part of a private marina owner, at least not in Florida.
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Old 08-09-2013, 21:30   #11
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Originally Posted by SailPenelope View Post
So what does "safe harbor" mean? I've always assumed, that where I am, in an emergency, a vessel could anchor behind the breakwater, which is protected water, even though anchoring is not normally allowed by the local city. It's not private property.
A good read:
http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Safety/Na...sOfRefuge.aspx

A partial blurb from this page:
"In November 2003, the IMO Asembly adopted two resolutions addressing the issue of places of refuge for ships in distress - an important step in assisting those involved in incidents that may lead to the need for a place of refuge to make the right decisions at the right time.

Resolution A.949(23) Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance are intended for use when a ship is in need of assistance but the safety of life is not involved. Where the safety of life is involved, the provisions of the SAR Convention should continue to be followed.

The guidelines recognize that, when a ship has suffered an incident, the best way of preventing damage or pollution from its progressive deterioration is to transfer its cargo and bunkers, and to repair the casualty. Such an operation is best carried out in a place of refuge. However, to bring such a ship into a place of refuge near a coast may endanger the coastal State, both economically and from the environmental point of view, and local authorities and populations may strongly object to the operation.

Therefore, granting access to a place of refuge could involve a political decision which can only be taken on a case-by-case basis. In so doing, consideration would need to be given to balancing the interests of the affected ship with those of the environment.

A second resolution, A.950(23) Maritime Assistance Services (MAS), recommends that all coastal States should establish a maritime assistance service (MAS). The principal purposes would be to receive the various reports, consultations and notifications required in a number of IMO instruments; monitoring a ship's situation if such a report indicates that an incident may give rise to a situation whereby the ship may be in need of assistance; serving as the point of contact if the ship's situation is not a distress situation but nevertheless requires exchanges of information between the ship and the coastal State, and for serving as the point of contact between those involved in a marine salvage operation undertaken by private facilities if the coastal State considers that it should monitor all phases of the operation.
The need to review the issues surrounding the need for places of refuge was included in a list of measures aimed at enhancing safety and minimizing the risk of oil pollution, drawn up in December 2000 in response to the Erika incident of December 1999."

The article goes on into history and such.
SC
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Old 08-09-2013, 22:16   #12
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

I see the points being made, i have two very good friends that have been Harbor Masters in Clear Lake, Texas. We have had this discussion of what to do with ill prepared vessels, but I never heard of them turning a vessel away that was running from a storm. On the same note, they felt a very strong responsibility for the boats in their marina. My old sea salt of a harbor master friend even told me he has scuttled a derelict boat prior to a big hurricane hitting his marina.

But to turn someone away hours before this massive storm is about to hit, you know you are sending them out to more danger. And I really don't think this was an act of laziness by the boat owner, they were running from the storm, remember Ike was a little unpredictable. The lazy ones are the ones that never show up to prepare their vessel, these folks are aboard fighting for their boat.
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Old 08-09-2013, 22:24   #13
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

I know very few people who would not try to help a boat that got caught short at the last minute before a storm hit, but the simple fact of the matter is that when a storm hits quickly, there are going to be a lot of people in need all at once & a late straggler that shows up at the last minute is probably going to find himself at the end of the list. People prepping boats before a hurricane don't always make it to the end of the list. Sometimes, they just run out of time.

Most marinas in Florida have a list of people who have prepaid for the season to have their boats hauled before a hurricane hits. They get taken care of first. If there is still room (& time) left, then the pay-as-you-go locals usually get second dibs. After that, options are often limited. Many marine facilities in South Florida have more demand than capacity. Many have waiting lists for people to get on the pre-paid list.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:33   #14
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

Marina staff take your boat out of a berth for which they have been receiving payment in good faith--and put it on the hook--and it gets damaged.

A good lawyer would get you a nice new boat, I'd be willing to bet.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:41   #15
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Re: Can Marinas Turn a Boat Away When Seeking Safe Harbor?

There is no absolute right to "safe harbour". Marine authorities and private land owners can eny you access to any harbour or marina under there own local laws.

This was demonstrated here , where an RNLI lifeboat had to release a towed yacht, which subsequently sank , because the harbourmaster denied it entrance for fear it would sink in the harbour.

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