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Old 03-10-2014, 14:04   #16
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

people smuggling is a crime ,report it to the authoraties.

the people who engage in smuggling do it for profit and have no regard for human life,they need stamping out like pirates.

if you find people in the water rescue them,but do not put yourself or your crew at risk if there are too many,drop your life raft up wind of them.
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Old 03-10-2014, 15:24   #17
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

> He decided not to call the greek coast guard on his VHF, feeling that if he did so, the other boat might pick up his call and attack him, taking over his boat.
...

If they had a VHF to pick up his call, they had a VHF to call for help if in distress.

If they were not in distress, what's the problem.

If I radioed the authorities every time I saw an overloaded boat in this part of the world, I'd never get off the radio
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Old 03-10-2014, 15:51   #18
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

Those in charge of the vessel are smugglers - as has been said having little regard for human life. Folks paying their ransom may well be tossed overboard.

What's to prevent them from doing so when they hear your distress call? The suddenly lightened vessel, now devoid of the 50 person load, could perhaps overtake you, the caller. How likely? Not known.

I'm w/atoll and others. If the smuggler has VHF and can hear you, HE can make the distress call. Drop an inflatable unwind and maintain a discrete distance, if you will. I would not approach the vessel. Desperate people do desperate things. Lifeguards understand this while attempting to rescue drowning swimmers.

That is not an easy thing to contemplate - as a sailor. Drilled into our heads, we are, the notion that you don't forsake mariners in distress.
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Old 03-10-2014, 15:54   #19
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pirate Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

He should have taken his Mossberg....
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Old 03-10-2014, 15:55   #20
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Recently (another forum) a skipper spotted a refugee boat near the Greek coast. His estimate was that the boat was approximately 10 meters and crowded with upwards of 50 refugees. The conditions were gale force and the sea was constantly breaking over the bow drenching all the persons huddled on the deck.

He decided not to call the greek coast guard on his VHF, feeling that if he did so, the other boat might pick up his call and attack him, taking over his boat.
His estimate of the situation was that the boat would probably make it to the coast.

He sailed away.

My call on this is he has a duty to report the boat (condiitons were such that some could easily have fallen overboard). Failing to call, he should have, at least, followed at some distance and be prepared to pick up any that did fall overboard.

Comments on this? When is our duty towards potentially saving lives, become outweighed by our fears?

carsten
If the boat was capable of taking him over and he estimated it was going to make the coast then it was clearly not in distress, therefore no call is warranted. As far as illegal activity... it could have been a wedding party that went terribly wrong.
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Old 03-10-2014, 16:41   #21
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleWhisky View Post

(...)

However most of them are illegal immigrants not being the refugees.

(...)

It is not a duty of the skipper to put his own boat and crew into present and imminent danger to provide an assistance to a vessel in distress.

(...)
And all cruisers transiting territorial waters are illegal immigrants too.

And the wording and spirit of relevant legal act is not as you presented it.

And otherwise I am mostly with you, much as I think Atoll found a more humane way of putting his opinions into words.

Buck to the subject though:

Who said: ".. our words reflect our attitudes and form attitudes of others..."?

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Old 03-10-2014, 17:20   #22
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And all cruisers transiting territorial waters are illegal immigrants too.
My impression was they are just executing the right of innocent passage, but of course I could be wrong...

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And the wording and spirit of relevant legal act is not as you presented it.
My command of English is not a stellar one and it is very possible I made an omission there. My understanding was that a refugee is a person who is outside their home country because have suffered (or feared) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because of being a member of a persecuted social category of persons or because is fleeing a war. This is category very different to the person trying to cross a border of another country because of purely economical reasons and executing this outside the legal boudaries.
My impression is, as United Nations attribute very similarily defined meaning to the word refugee.
http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c125.html

By the way - I can not find in my post any mention of wording or spirit of relevant acts of law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And otherwise I am mostly with you, much as I think Atoll found a more humane way of putting his opinions into words.
I read again and again my own post, as well as Atoll's one.
Somehow I do not see the difference in humanity, but again I suppose You found it due to Your better knowledge of all the nuances of English language, I'm unhappily not aware of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Buck to the subject though:
Who said: ".. our words reflect our attitudes and form attitudes of others..."?
barnakiel
I tried to Google this citation, but couldn't find it.
If You can remember the author, may You be so kind to share?

Best regards

Tomasz
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Old 03-10-2014, 17:37   #23
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pirate Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

Did not see anything wrong either with Tomaz's post... a few have assumed Political/racial religious reasons but... its no different to the Mexicans sneaking into the States.. dreams of a better life.
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Old 03-10-2014, 17:53   #24
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

Carsten, your original post says the anonymous skipper saw a heavily loaded boat, with many cold, wet, and miserable people on board it. And anything else is an assumption, isn't it?

The legal and moral obligations on the anonymous skipper could vary, depending on his nationality, his own morals and ethics, and the laws of Greece (assuming he was in Greek waters) of which I have no knowledge.

Since he did sail away from the anonymous boat, the concept of "I was afraid they would hear my call and attack me" doesn't hold any water. He could have sailed a couple of miles away and called the authorities anonymously soon after.

So what it comes down to, is that he disrespected the sovereignty of Greece by allowing illegal human smuggling, which is a big use there, OR, he proudly refrained from calling the authorities and intentionally aided those poor refugees. Again rashly assuming many things.

Flip a coin to determine which?

Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as the hero who saved The Union. Except by those of us who still think he was wrong, and that the Confederacy had every right to secede. Despite the past 150-odd years of propaganda by the winning side, slavery was not the issue. Federalism was. Sometimes, right and wrong are simply two sides of the same coin.
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Old 03-10-2014, 18:45   #25
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

I would just call it like I saw it.
10 meter boat, upwards of 50 refugees
In a gale
Sea constantly breaking over the bow

Call for assistance, I dont see any other choice.

Thinking that the boat would "probably" make the coast might square some one's conscience, but not mine, and why would anyone think it was a wedding party.
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Old 03-10-2014, 20:32   #26
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

These can be very desperate people. Many have fled untold violence in Syria and have lost the lot to criminal people smugglers. They have nothing left but the ability to take your boat and kill you.

I would be very reluctant to approach to a distance they could attack.

But I would have called the coast guard. Theres newspaper speculation that 15,000 have died this year alone in the Med from these smuggling trips. Its a terrible toll that we all have an obligation to minimise if we can.
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:04   #27
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

You would have actually NOT been doing them a favor by calling authorities. They would have been "captured" by the greek authorities within a reasonable distance from shore, would most likely been sent back to their native country under reasonable duress and not only perhaps faced jail time and forfeiture in their home countries but also family ridicule... and on top of that lost their life savings for nothing. Smugglers or not, within eye shot of shore you are not doing any favors by turning them in.

IMO, "wedding party" or not.

Here you go.. "facts" from Amnesty International.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/refugees-and-migrants
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Old 03-10-2014, 21:12   #28
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

This strikes me as being in the same category as an armed intruder: you could sail for 60 years and never have it happen or know anyone it happens to.
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Old 03-10-2014, 22:32   #29
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

And yet, Jammer, it did happen to CF members called Norna Biron, and they used their dinghy to ferry the people in the water to shore, within the last week's posts. The difference is that their boat was at anchor when they heard people shouting in the water, so they were not seeing something suspicious under way.

From a safe yachting distance, while one might be certain in one's heart the people were refugees, the fact is that people look like people, and you cannot tell from the outside whether they are migrants or refugees.

In any event, I guess it partly depends on one's own level of paranoia whether one would pass on by, leaving them to the consequences of their previous choices or stand by them to offer assistance if the conditions changed. A Mom & Pop cruising boat is not generally equipped to rescue 50 POB. Hence the need, if assistance were required, to involve somebody with a bigger boat! usually the "authorities." Their fates may be unpleasant in any event, but if you buy into the concept of mercy you cannot stand by and let them drown. If you are too fearful to rescue them, so be it, as Mark wrote, there may be risk involved, but I would think being exhausted, cold, and wet might take some of the edge of their attack-proneness.

Sorry for such speculation.

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Old 03-10-2014, 22:46   #30
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Re: Skipper's Duty Towards Refugees

[sigh...]

Okay.

Then given the once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes occurrence, (there are thousands of cruisers here, and only one of them ran into this) I would ascertain whether they wanted or needed my help.

Fifty people on a boat does not make need, and no one said anything about whether or not they asked for help. So that sounds like they didn't.

I see overloaded dinghies in every marina I visit, usually drunken, older men. I don't see a difference between five overweight, stupid men in a dinghy and fifty in a sloop. Swamped is swamped, and dead is dead. I don't offer them help, and I don't call the authorities.

If they were going to Greece, they were almost there, weren't they?

If they asked for help, I'd make a call for them. If they didn't, I wouldn't.
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