Originally Posted by redneckrob
Salvage law only entitles the salvor to a payment equal to a percentage of the vessels value, not ownership
. So that route
doesn't really work
. The offload of hazmat is definitely the way to go, and ideally we'd have an international fund that works like the U.S. national pollution fund. That is a fund that every polluter pays into, and the CG is statutorily allows to take action on potential or actual pollution incidents if the responsible party isn't willing or able to respond.
The problem with that model here is that we're dealing with a foreign flagged vessel in international waters. So what really should have happened is that the U.S. diplomatic machine should have shamed the flag nation into ensuring that the ship was salvaged (which probably would be cheaper than offloading the hazmat at sea anyway). Or if we were being really creative, requested a statement of no objection to allow seizure of the ship pending a salvage
bond, although those are only generally used in law enforcement and the flag nation would likely deny it. Nonetheless it would help to go through that process if you intended to go the name and shame route
. Bottom line is that no matter how you look at this situation there has to be a DOS diplomatic solution.
It's not that nothing can be done, it's that sinking the vessel without the owner's or at least flag country's consent couldn't be realistically done in this case. If we're thinking realistic solutions that could actually get implimented without years of diplomatic work
? I think developing a portable, self powered "derelict vessel" AIS
or portable satellite
positioning kit that went out with every cutter
as well as a protocol for one of the command centers to monitor
the track of any deployed kit would be something an ambitious O-5 or O-6 may be able to make happen. At least then in your Turks and Caicos
example we'd know far enough in advance to either warn them or, because we work very closely with them already, assist them in stopping a potential environmental issue before the ship actually runs around. I will put a bug in the ear of a few people I know. Thinking up this kind of thing can be good for a career and you and I are happy to let someone else take credit for it as long as it gets done. Any ideas on making that better are welcome before I start planting the idea?
First the AIS
is a good idea.
Two part response:
The AIS is a good "intermediate response". Although I am sure an attorney may opine that placing the AIS on the vessel, now obligates you to maintain it. So some legal
malarkey may be needed to avoid owning any problems.
That said, since the derelict vessel would likely not have power. To facilitate both the installation
and handling; a package with a solar
, AIS transponder and antenna
While I respect the USCG- once you leave the US, there is resistance and hesitancy to trust anything US. Perhaps motivating SOLAS or another non-governmental organization would be better.
Addressing the derelict vessel is going to be the issue. While seeing large fishing
trawlers with their AIS off is almost common, there are also tankers and other vessels who leave it off. Apparently, to make detection of their voyage more difficult. As such, it would appear the probability of Iranian flagged vessels contributing or a "flag of convenience" country contributing is remote
. But it is worth the exercise for a NGO to be motivated to chase through. They are more familiar with dealing at that level, and may pull something off.
Heading out the end of the week for a few deliveries. Will reply as possible.
Thanks for talking to folks!