Here in NZ, if there is no danger
, you do not have to abandon. It's not a matter of the authority of the person telling you to do so, its a matter of whether, or not, there is danger
to life or property. In the case discussed here, there was no danger, so I'd be telling that fool to either be constructive or %$#@ off.
I've known two NZ skippers, each of whom, in separate incidents, refused to abandon when ordered to do so by rescue
Bill fell asleep on autopilot
and hit rocks on a calm night at 4 am, about 200 meters from shore. As the boat
sunk over a period of hours he set about removing as many fittings as he could to have a diver pick them up more easily later. Rescue
services attended, not called him. He repeatedly and unsuccessfully told them to bugger off and was was photographed still working with a wrench when the deck
was inches under. He swam for shore as she slipped under.
Pete's converted trawler
sunk in rough weather
in Cook Straight over a day or so some caulking burst and the pumps got blocked by floating household brik-a-brac. He called for assistance, but despite requests refused to abandon ship again until the very last minute, fighting to save it.
Each was charged under NZ's Maritime Transport Act by the Maritime Safety
Authority for, in refusing to abandon when told to do so, "acting in a manner causing unnecessary danger to any person" (i.e. themselves and rescuers).
The charges against Bill were withdrawn, as he successfully put it to them, via solicitors, that there was no further danger caused by him remaining on the vessel, and he was supported in this by arguing that other fools, not he, had called for assistance, and they refused his instruction to them to go away.
Pete was prosecuted under the Act, refused to pay the fine, and, errr was detained by her Majesty for a short time instead.
Here is the relevant passage
of the NZ Act. I guess the US and other countries have something equivalent as all our laws tend to come from the same base.
65 Dangerous activity involving ships or maritime products
Every person commits an offence who—
operates, maintains, or services; or
does any other act in respect of—
any ship or maritime product in a manner which causes unnecessary danger or risk to any other person or to any property, irrespective of whether or not in fact any injury or damage occurs.