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Old 23-03-2015, 16:22   #46
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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How can one prove the reality of the emergency?
There is a grey zone, of course, but the concept is not hard to judge in law and jurisprudence.
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Old 23-03-2015, 16:27   #47
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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How can one prove the reality of the emergency?
By the rain coat duct taped over the hole in your hull, the missing mast or the 6" gash on your forehead.
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Old 23-03-2015, 16:30   #48
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pirate Re: Anchoring without visa?

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How can one prove the reality of the emergency?
The hard bit to prove is.. that you've not dropped something off ashore.. no matter.. your headed for the nearest port.. whatever.
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Old 24-03-2015, 06:30   #49
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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How can one prove the reality of the emergency?
That will depend on what you tell them when they ask you, "What was the nature of the emergency?"
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Old 24-03-2015, 08:15   #50
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

Disclaimer:
- I do not intend to sail on the other side of the pond in the nearest future
- I do not intend to immigrate anywhere, I am happy with my life here
- I do not own any boat and my sailing experience is very limited

Anyway, not least because of the last point, I would head to the nearest port if confronted with force 9 gale, especially if with my family as crew. I daresay that it is better to do this than to risk the health of my crew members. Now, I understand that this theoretical situation will have put my future ownership of my future boat in jeopardy? Because experienced sailors of CG or other law enforcement organization would not judge a Bft 9 an emergency?

Anyway, I think I would radio them first before entering the 12 miles zone - would that help?

Or should I always gather all visas for all countries neighboring my intended sailing area?
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Old 24-03-2015, 09:37   #51
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

There's no clear answer. Its depends on the particular circumstances. Commercial vessels have IMO treaty situations that cover this, pleasure sailors are in somewhat of a grey area.

Most countries don't make an issue


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Old 24-03-2015, 10:33   #52
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

It depends entirely on the official you are dealing with. The simple fact is that any individual customs official can give you a bad day on a whim. My sense based on 50+ years of crossing borders is that the current generation of US border cops is more likely than not to give you a hard time but any of them can and will mess with you if they feel like it. On the other hand they can choose to be human if they want to.

Last June we got the **** kicked out of us heading south across Dixon Entrance. We intended to anchor on the US side but the fishing fleet was out in force and most of them were anchored or heading for an anchorage. So we carried on but there was no way we could make Prince Rupert. When we got cell coverage again I called Canada Customs, told them what was happening, apologised profusely and said I was going to anchor without clearing in. I couldn't even give her our passport information because I didn't want to leave the helm to find the passports. My wife was hors de combat. They cleared us on the phone in under 5 minutes and said welcome home. So they absolutely can do it. If they want to.

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Old 24-03-2015, 10:50   #53
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

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...I would head to the nearest port if confronted with force 9 gale
I sincerely doubt that any country--or even any particular customs agent--would give you the least amount of grief in this case. Now, if you said you were forced to anchor because of bad weather, and there had been nothing but calm clear days for the past week, that would be a different matter.

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Anyway, I think I would radio them first before entering the 12 miles zone - would that help?
Probably not. If you really are dealing with an emergency situation then you need to wait and radio them when you are safely anchored or in port somewhere.

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Or should I always gather all visas for all countries neighboring my intended sailing area?
Neither is that necessary. In the event of any real emergency, the odds are extremely small that any disgruntled customs agent would give you a problem.

The people who run into problems, at least in every case that I've seen (admittedly, not many), are the ones who present a belligerent attitude to the customs or Coast Guard personnel. Or who insist that their "emergency" was something like, "I got tired, I got hungry, I was lost." Those are not "emergencies," those are things that result from bad planning.

I really think you are worrying about this too much. If your plan includes stopping to rest, refuel, whatever... then don't expect to be able to claim "safe passage." After all, that's not an emergency, that's part of your plan. If, on the other hand, something truly unexpected happens--something that reasonable prudence would not have anticipated, and that requires you to stop and take care of it--then you are very unlikely to have any problem.
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Old 24-03-2015, 16:31   #54
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Re: Anchoring without visa?

True emergencies handled properly you're very unlikely to have serious problems. You will get questions but that's fine.

I always remind myself of one thing. Show respect the person who has the power. In this case it's the customs agent and/or other CG's and/or Immigration. You're asking them for a favor due to an emergency. Take that attitude. 99 times out of 100 you'll be fine. But that's only if your situation is real and you're being completely honest. Challenge their authority and you'll lose.

I met a couple with an amazing story. Medical emergency-heart. They contacted Cuban authorities, pulled into Marina Hemingway, man was rushed to the hospital there and had immediate surgery. The other three of them were allowed to stay at the marina and also visit the hospital as well as go to the nearest restaurant. Couldn't go elsewhere, but were treated tremendously well. Everyone at the marina asked them daily how he was doing. When it was apparent he'd be ok, the one couple returned to the US by boat. The couple remaining in Cuba flew to the Dominican Republic and then home. The first couple meeting them at the airport. Officially, no one ever went to Cuba. Now did they tip well. Extremely. But the help they got was truly priceless. They took the medical records to his US cardiologist who was amazed and said had they waited to cross to the US, he wouldn't have likely survived.
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