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Old 01-01-2015, 18:12   #1
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Mediterranean immigrant ships?

Don't know what to think of this, picked it up on Zeenews from India.

Sorry for the long past, have difficulty with ipad at times.

Uncrewed ship with 450 people onboard heads for Italian coast | Zee News

(And more from BBC).
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30653742

Quote:
Rome: A merchant ship with no crew and 450 migrants on board is heading towards the Italian coast, the coastguard has said.


"450 migrants are on board a merchant ship with no crew which is headed towards the coast of Puglia," a Twitter message from the coastguard said.

The new high-seas drama came two days after Italian sailors intercepted a freighter carrying more than 700 mostly Syrian migrants which had been heading for the rocks of Italy's southeastern shore on autopilot, having been abandoned by the people smugglers who had navigated it from Turkey via Greek waters.

In that incident, the Moldovan-registered Blue Sky M cargo ship got to within five miles (eight kilometres) -- 45 minutes sailing time -- of a disaster before six navy officers were lowered on to the ship by helicopter and succeeded in bringing it under control.

The vessel's human cargo included some 60 children and two pregnant women, one of whom gave birth on board as the boat steamed towards catastrophe, according to the Italian Red Cross.

Many of the migrants on the ship were treated for hypothermia and broken limbs.

The migrant boat dramas have come as Italy grapples with the aftermath of the Norman Atlantic ferry disaster in which at least 13 people have died following an onboard fire that erupted before dawn on Sunday in waters off Albania.

They also come after a record year for people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia attempting to reach Europe by sea.

More than 170,000 people have been rescued by Italy in the last 14 months and hundreds, possibly thousands, have perished trying to make the crossing.

They are almost invariably under the control of ruthless traffickers who earn thousands of dollars for every person they put to sea from Libya and other departure points in North Africa.

Increasingly, the traffickers appear to have decided that the best way to get their human cargoes to Europe is to put to sea and then abandon the boats.

Since the onset of winter they have been using bigger boats than the converted fishing boats and dinghies they previously favoured.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:18   #2
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

Well it does point out just how bad some people want to get out of parts of Africa.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:22   #3
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

Well I see another ship has been found drifting in heavy seas of the Italian coast by the Icelandic coast guard who is part of the EU frontier immigration force
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:27   #4
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

Yes we just read the same news. Its certainly an issue over there and it goes on continually. Its just the real large loads that make the news but when we were there it was happening all the time. Big issue especially with the Greeks and Italians.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:39   #5
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Well it does point out just how bad some people want to get out of parts of Africa.
...and parts of the middle east. If I had a couple of kids and lived in Syria I'd be trying it too.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:03   #6
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

BBC News - British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety

We were involved in the rescue of 11 Syrians who were kicked out of a small boat bringing them to Symi, Greece, from Marmaris, Turkey. They had each paid €2700 for the trip and were pushed overboard at the entrance to the bay we were anchored in when the traffickers saw our anchor light.

Symi is regularly inundated with refugees from the Middle East. Big money to be made by unscrupulous people who are willing to spend a few hours motoring over in the dark.
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:45   #7
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

In terms of keeping the thread to going ballistic with political info, what impacts does this have on cruisers?

I'm thinking if we can keep it focussed on impacts to locally cruising people, maybe the political (and some of it unsolvable) aspects will be less.

Ann
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:20   #8
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

hopeless alcoholic that is dead long time told me time solves everything.

Including his addiction.

EU needs immigrants more than they like to admit. Low birth rate, etc. So everyone happy.

However, it ruins the joy of sailing when seeing dead bodies in water, or leaving someone drown or taking onboard etc.

Change sailing ground, simplest remedy. Its going to get worse.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:10   #9
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
In terms of keeping the thread to going ballistic with political info, what impacts does this have on cruisers?

I'm thinking if we can keep it focussed on impacts to locally cruising people, maybe the political (and some of it unsolvable) aspects will be less.

Ann
Our rescue was carried out in flat, relatively warm water. The 11 adults were all reasonably fit and could swim. We were able to take/direct the people to the beach. The other two boats in the bay did not respond to the constant noise (our very loud horn and the shouting). Our Mayday message was heard in Turkey (12 miles away) but was not responded to or relayed.

What did we learn from the experience? That other people don't want to get involved and cannot be relied upon to help.

Since the event we have been more cautious about choosing our anchorage when it is a moonless night. We have also spent lots of time thinking and discussing the 'what ifs':
What if there had been more people?
What if they couldn't swim?
What if there had been children?
What if the sea had been colder?
What if the wind had been blowing?
What if I hadn't heard them shouting for help?
What if we had been at sea instead of in an anchorage?
Etc etc

I have contacted our insurance to ask what our cover would be if we had to take people on board, it wouldn't take long for a few very wet people to ruin the upholstery etc.

Changing cruising ground is not really practical, there are desperate people all over the world, maybe inland lake sailing would protect you from the fall out but that's not the point of cruising.
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Old 03-01-2015, 05:36   #10
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
In terms of keeping the thread to going ballistic with political info, what impacts does this have on cruisers?

I'm thinking if we can keep it focussed on impacts to locally cruising people, maybe the political (and some of it unsolvable) aspects will be less.

Ann

when we checked out of lampadusa we were asked to keep a good watch for suspect migrant boats and report anything that looked odd to the italian coast guard and gave us both vhf and ssb frequencies to use.
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Old 03-01-2015, 18:06   #11
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

The two incidents in the Med involve comparatively large ships and consequently most probably involve people smuggling gangs. The Australian experience is that when you take away the pull factors - the probability of being allowed to stay in the country of your choice in the west - the boats stop.

In the north of Australia people and drug smuggling has already had an effect in that one is fairly regularly overflown by coast watch aircraft and occasionally accosted by patrol boats. For me this does not create a problem as being a single handed cruiser I don't mind the occasional human contact even if it is official but I have known people to take offense at being fairly regularly disturbed.

As a senior citizen single hander I would be very reluctant to take too many people of unknown origin and character aboard however I suspect that if the circumstance arose I would assist as I could.

There are volunteer marine rescue organizations pretty closely spaced from South Australia to Cooktown in Queensland but after that going north and west and down the Western Australian coast to Geraldton they are very sparse. The VMRs monitor VHF frequencies and could be called for assistance however since the coastal radio stations were closed some years ago if you are outside settled areas a pot luck HF radio call on the HF emergency frequencies might or not raise some assistance.

My experience with modern officialdom is that they are more likely to find a way of exploiting us than be of assistance and consequently I suspect that the effects upon us will depend to a fair degree on how we respond to the situations in which we occasionally find ourselves. (Be alert but not alarmed, and as Ronny said, don't worry, be happy)
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:26   #12
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Re: Mediterranean immigrant ships?

In the 80's, we often cruised the border of Hong Kong New Territories with China.

Saw many rafters and swimmers crossing Mirs Bay, escaping China and read of many bodies being found of those who did not make it.

it is a tough question about how much to get involved.
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