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Old 13-07-2010, 17:45   #16
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In 1999 I was coming up the coast from LA to see the Tall Ships entry into San Francisco. Made it fine around Points Conception, Arguello, and Sur, but then got bashed trying to get around Anno Nuevo. So we turned back and called the Santa Cruz harbormaster, who informed us that he couldn't take us because so many boats had already come in unexpectedly. I quoted the "any port in a storm" rubric and told him that I was coming in anyway. They put us on an end tie, fourth boat rafted out. Every end tie was like that, all taken up by people coming up from So Cal who couldn't get any further north.

We missed the Tall Ship parade the following day, but had a great time celebrating the 4th of July in Santa Cruz.
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Old 13-07-2010, 17:48   #17
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In other words, your person must be rescued, but not necessarily your boat or ship.

I believe the 72 hour rule was covered in the 1907 Hague Convention, XIII, outlining the rights of neutral powers during wartime. Belligerent warships could seek shelter in a neutral port for a nominal 24 hours to refuel and re-provision; repairs to make the ship seaworthy could also be conducted (but not repairs enhancing fighting capability). Longer stays could be granted up to 72 hours if deemed necessary to effect the minimum repairs necessary to allow the ship in question to put to sea again, after which the warship had either to leave or be permanently interned.
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:09   #18
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they may deny you entry but they have to give you I think 72 hrs to effect repairs etc, before chucking you out.
I would think that depends on the country.
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:17   #19
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Althought I lived in Saudi Arabia for sixteen years, I chose to not go into Jeddah when I sailed up the Red Sea. You can do it, but you will have to go through miles of red tape, and the results will be unpredictable. Most likely you will spend a couple of thousand dollars to get an agent in the sea port to do all the paperwork and take care of all the challenges. If the newspaper writes a story about your adventures, you will probably receive a warm welcome. If nobody takes an interest in you, it will just be an expensive stopover.

I wouldn't consider stopping in the Farrallon Islands or any of the smaller ports along the Arabian coast. The officials won't know what to do with you, and you could easily end up in jail and even lose your yacht. The results would be totally unpredictable.

I had total freedom of movement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because I had a sponsor who was responsible for my actions, and who gave me a letter saying that I could go wherever I wanted. With a sponsor, there is no problem. Without a sponsor, you are lost.

If you arrive on Arabian shores, you better have a sponsor or an extremely good reason to be there. Otherwise, your problems will quickly multiply.
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:24   #20
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Im pretty sure that you have the right to enter a countries territorial water for the purposes of normal navigation ("INNOCENT PASSAGE"). This includes unrestricted access to whatever anchorages are necessary for safety of the vessel. This does not include closed or partially closed waters (rivers/marinas).

Of course, if you suffer harassment, you rely on the assistance of your flag country to sort it out. This may or may not be useless.
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:37   #21
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A government has the right to deny any vessel entry into their country for whichever reason they choose. That is their right as a sovereign nation. Whether its an ethical decision or not is another matter.
This is my understanding.

Most countries will allow you to tuck into a cove if needs must, but many will not. N. Korea, China, Vietnam being examples.
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Old 13-07-2010, 18:40   #22
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Im pretty sure that you have the right to enter a countries territorial water for the purposes of normal navigation ("INNOCENT PASSAGE").
Not so. If you enter territorial waters you are in that countries territory. It is up to that country and maybe some particular official on how they handle the situation. Just enter Australia's territorial waters without previous notice (and following their procedures) and see what happens to you.
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Old 13-07-2010, 20:57   #23
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This has been a hot topic to me as I ran up against it once with a nasty little country and its nasty coast guard. In the "old days" safe refuge was granted for up to 10 days and the boat and crew would observe quarantine unless they were eligible to "check-in."
- - Since 9/11 there has been major international wrangles over "national security" issues of foreign ships entering a harbor without proper pre-notification and clearance. And they are still wrangling over it especially with the added problems of leaking tankers beside the "national security" issues.
- - Up shot is the old rules/customs/traditions have fallen and it is now a local country issue. So you may or may not be able to "enter a port for refuge" subject only to the local government's declarations on the matter.
- - A side issue was the old "innocent passage" or "Q-flagging" which has also been downsized to the individual country's permissions set into their local laws. The Bahamas have a local law that allows it, but other island countries have said, no - you must check in and pay the fees."
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Old 14-07-2010, 04:22   #24
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Interestingly, the entire Prestige story is on the Nat Geo channel this morning. Oil recovery from 12000ft down successfully is possible !! DA-DAAAAA
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Old 14-07-2010, 09:36   #25
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Not so. If you enter territorial waters you are in that countries territory. It is up to that country and maybe some particular official on how they handle the situation.
Exactly. Frankly I'm a bit surprised that anyone would believe that there is some universal law that applies to every country everywhere, and that no country is allowed to ignore. Anyone who believes that any such universal law exists is just plain wrong.

Of course, there are agreements that MOST countries have entered into. UNCLOS is a good example. That doesn't mean that EVERY country in the world is required to observe the agreement, though, nor does it prevent any country from deciding at some point in the future that they are no longer going to observe the agreement.

"Any port in a storm" is NOT a universal law. Nonetheless, there is an old saying that seems to apply here, which is "better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6." Meaning, if the choice is between breaking the law and dieing it is usually better to break the law. Faced with a deadly storm, or some life-threatening disaster, I would head for the nearest safe harbor and worry about any legal consequences later.
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Old 14-07-2010, 09:42   #26
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Exactly, countries make their own laws. There is no authority above a country that prescribes which laws or rules they shall have.

I certainly would not risk going to jail over pulling in to a country and then trying to tell them that I am right and they are wrong. That's kinda the bottom line.

If you are in extremis and need shelter, its still their option. Perhaps many countries would understand but I would not come across as some arrogant sailor and tell the authorities that they are supposed to accept my presence. See how far an arrogant, know-it-all attitude gets you in a communist or a third world country. One would get further by pleading the necessity, being respectful to the authorities and promising never to do it again...rather than coming across as this belligerent person saying I have the right to enter your country.
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Old 16-07-2010, 22:48   #27
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Kate, have you read the description of the warm welcome that Web Chiles was given when he was forced to land on Saudi soil?
Hey, at least he had room AND board. That was more than we were promised in Arabia back in the 70's.
"Back in the day" Saudis were worried because there were more foreign workers than "indigenous" on the peninsula.
If a country refused entry to a foreign vessel - for any reason, because you were an unknown entity, because they didn't like your country's foreign policy, because you were having a problem but it wasn't their problem - fair enough. They have their own concerns. It is enough that they would rescue you when you needed it...

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Old 16-07-2010, 23:39   #28
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I think if you landed on Saudi soil without a sponsor, you would be presumed guilty until proven innocent. Guilty of what - I don't have a clue. But I bet they could find something to charge you with that would make you wish that you were somewhere else. It's not that they are not nice people. They just don't know what to do with you, and they don't want to get into trouble if they do the wrong thing. The easiest thing to do is incarcerate you until they figure out what is going on.

When I lived in Arabia, if you were involved in a car accident, they carted you off to jail where they figured things out. Some people kept food, water, and a sweater in their car just for such occasions. At least they would have something to eat, drink, and stay warm until their get out of jail card came through.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:36   #29
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Because of a previous commitment I had to leave a vessel in the Persian Gulf by launch into Dubai. After a 4 hr launch ride, I arrived at 3AM to an empty dock. The Capt. of the launch said "Wait here" (The end of the dock) then cast off. Ten minutes later a white Renault comes screeching to a stop a guy in a dijubi gets out, snaps my picture jumps back in the car and zooms off, not one word. About 30 minutes later he comes screeching back, says "Get in." and zoom off to the hotel. I was in bed by 5. I didn't know what was going on but I had a great agent. Never met the customs guy. Two days later I was on a jet back to London.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:22   #30
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I had a "port of refuge" experience in Vietnam that was a PITA. The officials did not like it one bit that I was putting in at Danang instead of the port I had specified, Nha Trang, far to the south. This despite the officials expressing amazement that I'd even survived a Category 2 typhoon in a 28' boat. In the end, a few days of stern-faced bureaucracy and a few bottles of expensive whiskey smoothed things over.
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