Originally Posted by Paul L
That's a right to passage
, not a right to anchorage.
I beg to disagree. Innocent passage specifically includes anchoring
, if it is incidental to ordinary navigation
, or caused by necessity, etc. See below.
Now that's the letter
of the law. However, the Convention leaves a wide range of possible interpretation of what might be "prejudicial to the peace, security" etc. of the state, and the U.S. Coast Guard, since going over to Homeland Security
, is not known for its delicate respect for international agreements, so the letter of the law does not guaranty you won't be harassed.
What I would do is call the local Coast Guard station and simply discuss it with them. Tell them that you intend to anchor out at such and such a position at such and such a time on your way between x and y, and you would like to exercise right of innocent passage, won't go ashore, etc., and do they have a problem with that.
It never hurts to ask, and those guys much prefer to be asked before hand, than to be faced with a fait accomplis, and unless they have a specific policy to deny such requests, they may well agree to it. If they do, be sure to call them on VHF
when you cross into US waters and inform them who you are and what your intentions are.
Meaning of innocent passage
1. Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State. Such passage shall take place in conformity with this Convention and with other rules of international law.
2. Passage of a foreign ship shall be considered to be prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State if in the territorial sea it engages in any of the following activities:
(a) any threat or use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of the coastal State, or in any other manner in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter
of the United Nations;
(b) any exercise or practice with weapons of any kind;
(c) any act aimed at collecting information to the prejudice of the defence or security of the coastal State;
(d) any act of propaganda aimed at affecting the defence or security of the coastal State;
(e) the launching, landing or taking on board of any aircraft;
(f) the launching, landing or taking on board of any military device;
(g) the loading or unloading of any commodity, currency or person contrary to the customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws and regulations
of the coastal State;
(h) any act of wilful and serious pollution contrary to this Convention;
(i) any fishing
(j) the carrying out of research
(k) any act aimed at interfering with any systems of communication or any other facilities or installations of the coastal State;
(l) any other activity not having a direct bearing on passage.
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
Meaning of passage
1. Passage means navigation
through the territorial sea for the purpose of:
(a) traversing that sea without entering internal waters or calling at a roadstead or port facility outside internal waters; or
(b) proceeding to or from internal waters or a call at such roadstead or port facility.
2. Passage shall be continuous and expeditious. However, passage includes stopping and anchoring
, but only in so far as the same are incidental to ordinary navigation or are rendered necessary by force majeure or distress
or for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, ships or aircraft in danger