Encountering migrants at sea


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Daria Blackwell
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I am looking to talk to anyone who has had encounters with migrants at sea to learn from your experience. 

Two activists are being put on trial in Greece for rescuing migrants at sea. This seems to contravene the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and rendering assistance is something seafarers have held sacred since ships began sailing. I am researching this issue to compile a set of Best Practices around this topic. We've all seen the clips of migrants in sorry state after being set adrift by ruthless human traffickers. There have also been cases cited where pirates have used migrants to lure merchant vessels which they planned to attack. It's a terrible conundrum that is likely to get worse as climate change forces mass migrations. 

From conversations I've had with Coast Guard members in various states, the general recommendation is not to take anyone aboard your vessel, but rather to call the Coast Guard to report the situation. Let them tell you what they want you to do. CG vessels and helicopters are fast enough to effect rescues. You can then stand by until the CG arrives. They've also told me that taking migrants on board can be interpreted in some states as assisting in human trafficking. In fact, there was a big backlash against the RNLI for rescuing migrants off the coast of GB. The RNLI had to issue statements about the humanitarian nature of their work. 

Please let me know if you have any experience in this area.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
Article 98
Duty to render assistance
1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far
as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:
(a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of
being lost;
(b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in
distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such
action may reasonably be expected of him;
(c) after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew
and its passengers and, where possible, to inform the other ship
of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest
port at which it will call.
2. Every coastal State shall promote the establishment, operation and
maintenance of an adequate and effective search and rescue service regarding
safety on and over the sea and, where circumstances so require, by way of
mutual regional arrangements cooperate with neighbouring States for this
purpose.



Vice Commodore, OCC 
Daria Blackwell
Daria Blackwell
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And just now, the AP posted a report that sailboats are now being used to transport migrants. That is likely to have repercussions, including military interception of legitimate vessels in the Med.  

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Dick
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Daria Blackwell - 22 Nov 2021
I am looking to talk to anyone who has had encounters with migrants at sea to learn from your experience. 

Two activists are being put on trial in Greece for rescuing migrants at sea. This seems to contravene the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and rendering assistance is something seafarers have held sacred since ships began sailing. I am researching this issue to compile a set of Best Practices around this topic. We've all seen the clips of migrants in sorry state after being set adrift by ruthless human traffickers. There have also been cases cited where pirates have used migrants to lure merchant vessels which they planned to attack. It's a terrible conundrum that is likely to get worse as climate change forces mass migrations. 

From conversations I've had with Coast Guard members in various states, the general recommendation is not to take anyone aboard your vessel, but rather to call the Coast Guard to report the situation. Let them tell you what they want you to do. CG vessels and helicopters are fast enough to effect rescues. You can then stand by until the CG arrives. They've also told me that taking migrants on board can be interpreted in some states as assisting in human trafficking. In fact, there was a big backlash against the RNLI for rescuing migrants off the coast of GB. The RNLI had to issue statements about the humanitarian nature of their work. 

Please let me know if you have any experience in this area.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
Article 98
Duty to render assistance
1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far
as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:
(a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of
being lost;
(b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in
distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such
action may reasonably be expected of him;
(c) after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew
and its passengers and, where possible, to inform the other ship
of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest
port at which it will call.
2. Every coastal State shall promote the establishment, operation and
maintenance of an adequate and effective search and rescue service regarding
safety on and over the sea and, where circumstances so require, by way of
mutual regional arrangements cooperate with neighbouring States for this
purpose.


Hi Daria,
Indeed, very unsettling times and reports. Good on you for collecting data.
Questions. The pair who are on trial in Greece: You described them as activists. Were they activists in this area prior to the rescue? Or were they described as activists by authorities only after effecting the rescue? Are there cruisers or regular boaters who have rescued people and gotten into trouble that you are aware of? Or cruisers who have effected rescues and found no trouble from authorities?
A skippers first obligation, I would think, is to his/her own vessel & crew. If the skipper thinks there is a danger to vessel or crew, what then are the obligations? Take a scenario, on a windy day, of seeing a person in the water near where the swell is starting to break on a lee rocky cliff shore. Pretty certain death is in store for any person or boat who gets caught up in the breaking swell and is taken to the rock cliff shore.
I would also be curious about what are “legal” obligations, if any, to rescue as contrasted with the “Duty to Render Assistance”.
I would suspect that the UN conventions were written with properly equipped legal vessels conducting passages in line with their commercial and/or recreational activities. How do things change if the vessel/crew in trouble are illegally at sea on a boat not legally from any nation who is under the UN’s umbrella?
All that said, it behooves skippers to have thought about this ahead of time if they are cruising in areas where the scenario under consideration might occur. Your efforts, Daria, should contribute to a “best practices” plan.
When I was thinking about this and in waters where the above might take place:
My “plan” in the face of possible death of others, especially multiple others, was to launch my raft and tie onto it supplies such as a jerry can mostly filled with fresh water. Other supplies could be considered as warranted by the situation.
Clearly this anticipates the loss of the raft. This seems to me a not unreasonable contribution from a person who, in the scheme of the world’s citizenry, has led a pretty privileged life. I would then stand by at a distance for the nearest CG to make an appearance.
I would use this time to log my actions and to notify my home CG of my actions. I would also notify the US Embassy of the nation whose courtesy flag I was flying and whose waters I was in.
I might consider an EPIRB distress call if lives continued to be in danger.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy


Daria Blackwell
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Dick - 24 Nov 2021
Daria Blackwell - 22 Nov 2021
I am looking to talk to anyone who has had encounters with migrants at sea to learn from your experience. 

Two activists are being put on trial in Greece for rescuing migrants at sea. This seems to contravene the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and rendering assistance is something seafarers have held sacred since ships began sailing. I am researching this issue to compile a set of Best Practices around this topic. We've all seen the clips of migrants in sorry state after being set adrift by ruthless human traffickers. There have also been cases cited where pirates have used migrants to lure merchant vessels which they planned to attack. It's a terrible conundrum that is likely to get worse as climate change forces mass migrations. 

From conversations I've had with Coast Guard members in various states, the general recommendation is not to take anyone aboard your vessel, but rather to call the Coast Guard to report the situation. Let them tell you what they want you to do. CG vessels and helicopters are fast enough to effect rescues. You can then stand by until the CG arrives. They've also told me that taking migrants on board can be interpreted in some states as assisting in human trafficking. In fact, there was a big backlash against the RNLI for rescuing migrants off the coast of GB. The RNLI had to issue statements about the humanitarian nature of their work. 

Please let me know if you have any experience in this area.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
Article 98
Duty to render assistance
1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far
as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:
(a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of
being lost;
(b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in
distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such
action may reasonably be expected of him;
(c) after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew
and its passengers and, where possible, to inform the other ship
of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest
port at which it will call.
2. Every coastal State shall promote the establishment, operation and
maintenance of an adequate and effective search and rescue service regarding
safety on and over the sea and, where circumstances so require, by way of
mutual regional arrangements cooperate with neighbouring States for this
purpose.


Hi Daria,
Indeed, very unsettling times and reports. Good on you for collecting data.
Questions. The pair who are on trial in Greece: You described them as activists. Were they activists in this area prior to the rescue? Or were they described as activists by authorities only after effecting the rescue? Are there cruisers or regular boaters who have rescued people and gotten into trouble that you are aware of? Or cruisers who have effected rescues and found no trouble from authorities?
A skippers first obligation, I would think, is to his/her own vessel & crew. If the skipper thinks there is a danger to vessel or crew, what then are the obligations? Take a scenario, on a windy day, of seeing a person in the water near where the swell is starting to break on a lee rocky cliff shore. Pretty certain death is in store for any person or boat who gets caught up in the breaking swell and is taken to the rock cliff shore.
I would also be curious about what are “legal” obligations, if any, to rescue as contrasted with the “Duty to Render Assistance”.
I would suspect that the UN conventions were written with properly equipped legal vessels conducting passages in line with their commercial and/or recreational activities. How do things change if the vessel/crew in trouble are illegally at sea on a boat not legally from any nation who is under the UN’s umbrella?
All that said, it behooves skippers to have thought about this ahead of time if they are cruising in areas where the scenario under consideration might occur. Your efforts, Daria, should contribute to a “best practices” plan.
When I was thinking about this and in waters where the above might take place:
My “plan” in the face of possible death of others, especially multiple others, was to launch my raft and tie onto it supplies such as a jerry can mostly filled with fresh water. Other supplies could be considered as warranted by the situation.
Clearly this anticipates the loss of the raft. This seems to me a not unreasonable contribution from a person who, in the scheme of the world’s citizenry, has led a pretty privileged life. I would then stand by at a distance for the nearest CG to make an appearance.
I would use this time to log my actions and to notify my home CG of my actions. I would also notify the US Embassy of the nation whose courtesy flag I was flying and whose waters I was in.
I might consider an EPIRB distress call if lives continued to be in danger.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy


Dick,
Thanks so much for weighing in both with important questions and observations. My sense is they were activists before the rescue as the woman is a migrant herself. I do not know of others except for the Sea Shepherd boat that was detained and not permitted to disembark rescued migrants in the Med by multiple countries.  There are apparently others who have challenged regional law.

We, too, have thought through what we might do. It's part of our routine 'What if' positing. Two years ago when we were on our way to the Med (although we turned back because of 40C temps in the spring), we thought through the scenarios we might encounter in detail. We concluded we would:
-  immediately alert the coast guard in the closest nation
-  assess risks to us: are there any weapons visible
-  assess risks to occupants of the vessel - is it sinking? are they disabled? are the traffickers aboard? are people in danger?
-  take photos/video of the vessel and document observations
-  if danger to life is imminent, launch the dinghy and provide supplies - life jackets, water, food, blankets, etc
-  stand by at a safe distance until rescue/interception vessels arrive if feasible (ie, conditions didn't endanger us) 

We, too, had decided that the loss of our dinghy would be a small price to pay for saving lives. I'm glad to hear that you thought the same. I had not thought of contacting my home embassy. Good thought. Many thanks.

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Daria Blackwell
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Dick - 24 Nov 2021
Daria Blackwell - 22 Nov 2021
I am looking to talk to anyone who has had encounters with migrants at sea to learn from your experience. 

Two activists are being put on trial in Greece for rescuing migrants at sea. This seems to contravene the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and rendering assistance is something seafarers have held sacred since ships began sailing. I am researching this issue to compile a set of Best Practices around this topic. We've all seen the clips of migrants in sorry state after being set adrift by ruthless human traffickers. There have also been cases cited where pirates have used migrants to lure merchant vessels which they planned to attack. It's a terrible conundrum that is likely to get worse as climate change forces mass migrations. 

From conversations I've had with Coast Guard members in various states, the general recommendation is not to take anyone aboard your vessel, but rather to call the Coast Guard to report the situation. Let them tell you what they want you to do. CG vessels and helicopters are fast enough to effect rescues. You can then stand by until the CG arrives. They've also told me that taking migrants on board can be interpreted in some states as assisting in human trafficking. In fact, there was a big backlash against the RNLI for rescuing migrants off the coast of GB. The RNLI had to issue statements about the humanitarian nature of their work. 

Please let me know if you have any experience in this area.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
Article 98
Duty to render assistance
1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far
as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:
(a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of
being lost;
(b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in
distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such
action may reasonably be expected of him;
(c) after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew
and its passengers and, where possible, to inform the other ship
of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest
port at which it will call.
2. Every coastal State shall promote the establishment, operation and
maintenance of an adequate and effective search and rescue service regarding
safety on and over the sea and, where circumstances so require, by way of
mutual regional arrangements cooperate with neighbouring States for this
purpose.


Hi Daria,
Indeed, very unsettling times and reports. Good on you for collecting data.
Questions. The pair who are on trial in Greece: You described them as activists. Were they activists in this area prior to the rescue? Or were they described as activists by authorities only after effecting the rescue? Are there cruisers or regular boaters who have rescued people and gotten into trouble that you are aware of? Or cruisers who have effected rescues and found no trouble from authorities?
A skippers first obligation, I would think, is to his/her own vessel & crew. If the skipper thinks there is a danger to vessel or crew, what then are the obligations? Take a scenario, on a windy day, of seeing a person in the water near where the swell is starting to break on a lee rocky cliff shore. Pretty certain death is in store for any person or boat who gets caught up in the breaking swell and is taken to the rock cliff shore.
I would also be curious about what are “legal” obligations, if any, to rescue as contrasted with the “Duty to Render Assistance”.
I would suspect that the UN conventions were written with properly equipped legal vessels conducting passages in line with their commercial and/or recreational activities. How do things change if the vessel/crew in trouble are illegally at sea on a boat not legally from any nation who is under the UN’s umbrella?
All that said, it behooves skippers to have thought about this ahead of time if they are cruising in areas where the scenario under consideration might occur. Your efforts, Daria, should contribute to a “best practices” plan.
When I was thinking about this and in waters where the above might take place:
My “plan” in the face of possible death of others, especially multiple others, was to launch my raft and tie onto it supplies such as a jerry can mostly filled with fresh water. Other supplies could be considered as warranted by the situation.
Clearly this anticipates the loss of the raft. This seems to me a not unreasonable contribution from a person who, in the scheme of the world’s citizenry, has led a pretty privileged life. I would then stand by at a distance for the nearest CG to make an appearance.
I would use this time to log my actions and to notify my home CG of my actions. I would also notify the US Embassy of the nation whose courtesy flag I was flying and whose waters I was in.
I might consider an EPIRB distress call if lives continued to be in danger.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy


By the way, I am not supportive of illegal immigration. My parents were legal immigrants to the US and had to fight hard to prove worthy. I support legal immigration. But I am also not in support of turning your backs on those who have risked everything, been sold a bill of goods, and have nothing left to hope for. Nations have to come together to solve the problems. Germany tried to. It will not be easily resolved. 

Vice Commodore, OCC 
Daria Blackwell
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RYA welcomes Government assurance that changes to #Immigration Act will not criminalise boaters
Recreational boaters will be able to rescue those in distress as they do now
http://www.coastalboating.net/.../11-21/26-11-RYA/index.html
#sailing #boating #ImmigrationMatters

Changes to Immigration Act will not criminalise boaters
https://marineindustrynews.co.uk/changes-to-immigration-act-will-not-criminalise-boaters/

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Graham.Harrison
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Hi Daria 
Writing from personal experience when delivering sailing yacht SEREN from Greece to Wales:-

I was alone on watch late evening at approx 22.00 in the Mediterranean, heading from Almeria towards Gibraltar motoring in light airs  when I noticed a white light about 5 degrees off the starboard bow, initially as it went out occasionally, I assumed it might be a distant fishing boat but as we drew closer I thought it could be a local fisherman who have a habit of sitting at anchor with no lights and switching on a white head torch at the last minute. 
Approaching within about 100 metres of the light there was a lot of shouting and I thought we might be about to run over a fishing net so I cut the engine and steered in a circle around the light, switched on a spotlight and saw three youths sitting on a jetski, now all yelling in a language I did not recognise and all waving their mobile phone lights and apparently out of fuel. We did pick out what sounded like 'Morocco' several times so assumed that was where they were from.

I immediately got the rest of the crew on deck to assess our options, these guys were in trouble, 12 miles from the Spanish coast, dressed in light tee shirts.
I had heard stories of skippers and yachts getting into trouble for assisting migrants in the Med so we decided to stand off a distance and circled the jetski at 50 metres as we were fearful someone might be desperate enough to try to swim across to our yacht.

In my opinion standing off, out of swimming distance and contacting the nearest coastguard was exactly the right thing to do for a leisure yacht, if one or all had tried to swim over to us I'm not sure of what my response might have been, suddenly it's  'MAYDAY' situation but you can't let them drown, what if there are 50 or 60 of them in a sinking inflatable or in the water? A real dilemma!

We tried to contact the Spanish Coastguard, but got no reply to several transmissions (in English) and eventually decided to make a PAN PAN call which received an immediate response from the Coastguard (in English) then our ships VHF radio failed, so grab the hand held VHF which had been charging for hours but switched itself off after 2 minutes with a flat battery. 
 
We decided to contact Falmouth coastguard by mobile phone and there followed a series of almost comical phone calls where the Spanish Coastguard kept calling "Yacht Sharon" (even after we spelled out 'Seren' several times) linked via Madrid Rescue reminiscent of "The Navy Lark' but eventually 2 1/2 hours later a Spanish rescue launch arrived and collected the three youths and their jetski, the oldest probably 18 and youngest about 12.

We  were over 70 NM from Morocco  and 12NM from Spain and I was surprised a jetski had made it that far from Morocco but when I checked, the Yamaha 3 seat jetski has a max range of about 120 miles, 1800cc engine and 70 litre fuel tank. 
 
It's surprising what comes up over the horizon, we never found out what happened to the youths.



Dick
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Graham.Harrison - 2 Dec 2021
Hi Daria 
Writing from personal experience when delivering sailing yacht SEREN from Greece to Wales:-

I was alone on watch late evening at approx 22.00 in the Mediterranean, heading from Almeria towards Gibraltar motoring in light airs  when I noticed a white light about 5 degrees off the starboard bow, initially as it went out occasionally, I assumed it might be a distant fishing boat but as we drew closer I thought it could be a local fisherman who have a habit of sitting at anchor with no lights and switching on a white head torch at the last minute. 
Approaching within about 100 metres of the light there was a lot of shouting and I thought we might be about to run over a fishing net so I cut the engine and steered in a circle around the light, switched on a spotlight and saw three youths sitting on a jetski, now all yelling in a language I did not recognise and all waving their mobile phone lights and apparently out of fuel. We did pick out what sounded like 'Morocco' several times so assumed that was where they were from.

I immediately got the rest of the crew on deck to assess our options, these guys were in trouble, 12 miles from the Spanish coast, dressed in light tee shirts.
I had heard stories of skippers and yachts getting into trouble for assisting migrants in the Med so we decided to stand off a distance and circled the jetski at 50 metres as we were fearful someone might be desperate enough to try to swim across to our yacht.

In my opinion standing off, out of swimming distance and contacting the nearest coastguard was exactly the right thing to do for a leisure yacht, if one or all had tried to swim over to us I'm not sure of what my response might have been, suddenly it's  'MAYDAY' situation but you can't let them drown, what if there are 50 or 60 of them in a sinking inflatable or in the water? A real dilemma!

We tried to contact the Spanish Coastguard, but got no reply to several transmissions (in English) and eventually decided to make a PAN PAN call which received an immediate response from the Coastguard (in English) then our ships VHF radio failed, so grab the hand held VHF which had been charging for hours but switched itself off after 2 minutes with a flat battery. 
 
We decided to contact Falmouth coastguard by mobile phone and there followed a series of almost comical phone calls where the Spanish Coastguard kept calling "Yacht Sharon" (even after we spelled out 'Seren' several times) linked via Madrid Rescue reminiscent of "The Navy Lark' but eventually 2 1/2 hours later a Spanish rescue launch arrived and collected the three youths and their jetski, the oldest probably 18 and youngest about 12.

We  were over 70 NM from Morocco  and 12NM from Spain and I was surprised a jetski had made it that far from Morocco but when I checked, the Yamaha 3 seat jetski has a max range of about 120 miles, 1800cc engine and 70 litre fuel tank. 
 
It's surprising what comes up over the horizon, we never found out what happened to the youths.



Hi Graham,
Congratulations on a successful rescue. PWC are quite capable of long journeys and poor weather conditions as made clear by the appearance of a PWC in Lerwick, The Shetland Islands one afternoon who was circumnavigating the UK.
I have “rescued” a couple on a PWC not so far from shore and can attest that towing one of them is very difficult.
Can you fill in why your ship’s vhf failed? This strikes me as very unusual and argues for redundancy in this important area. Also, why, when recently charged, the handheld radio’s batteries did not work.
I ask as I collect data under the assumption that if hasn’t happened to me, it will sometime, and I might as well learn and think about it now.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Daria Blackwell
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Graham.Harrison - 2 Dec 2021
Hi Daria 
Writing from personal experience when delivering sailing yacht SEREN from Greece to Wales:-

I was alone on watch late evening at approx 22.00 in the Mediterranean, heading from Almeria towards Gibraltar motoring in light airs  when I noticed a white light about 5 degrees off the starboard bow, initially as it went out occasionally, I assumed it might be a distant fishing boat but as we drew closer I thought it could be a local fisherman who have a habit of sitting at anchor with no lights and switching on a white head torch at the last minute. 
Approaching within about 100 metres of the light there was a lot of shouting and I thought we might be about to run over a fishing net so I cut the engine and steered in a circle around the light, switched on a spotlight and saw three youths sitting on a jetski, now all yelling in a language I did not recognise and all waving their mobile phone lights and apparently out of fuel. We did pick out what sounded like 'Morocco' several times so assumed that was where they were from.

I immediately got the rest of the crew on deck to assess our options, these guys were in trouble, 12 miles from the Spanish coast, dressed in light tee shirts.
I had heard stories of skippers and yachts getting into trouble for assisting migrants in the Med so we decided to stand off a distance and circled the jetski at 50 metres as we were fearful someone might be desperate enough to try to swim across to our yacht.

In my opinion standing off, out of swimming distance and contacting the nearest coastguard was exactly the right thing to do for a leisure yacht, if one or all had tried to swim over to us I'm not sure of what my response might have been, suddenly it's  'MAYDAY' situation but you can't let them drown, what if there are 50 or 60 of them in a sinking inflatable or in the water? A real dilemma!

We tried to contact the Spanish Coastguard, but got no reply to several transmissions (in English) and eventually decided to make a PAN PAN call which received an immediate response from the Coastguard (in English) then our ships VHF radio failed, so grab the hand held VHF which had been charging for hours but switched itself off after 2 minutes with a flat battery. 
 
We decided to contact Falmouth coastguard by mobile phone and there followed a series of almost comical phone calls where the Spanish Coastguard kept calling "Yacht Sharon" (even after we spelled out 'Seren' several times) linked via Madrid Rescue reminiscent of "The Navy Lark' but eventually 2 1/2 hours later a Spanish rescue launch arrived and collected the three youths and their jetski, the oldest probably 18 and youngest about 12.

We  were over 70 NM from Morocco  and 12NM from Spain and I was surprised a jetski had made it that far from Morocco but when I checked, the Yamaha 3 seat jetski has a max range of about 120 miles, 1800cc engine and 70 litre fuel tank. 
 
It's surprising what comes up over the horizon, we never found out what happened to the youths.



Dear Graham,
Thanks for sharing this story. And I second the congratulations on a successful rescue and outcome. It was rather brilliant to bring the Falmouth CG in to coordinate with the Spanish authorities while you stood by. We've had enough interactions with the Spanish CG to know that effective communication can be rather challenging.

I appreciate that it would have been a different story had the boys decided to swim to you.  Had you thought through what you would do if they did leave the PWC?



Vice Commodore, OCC 
Graham.Harrison
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Hi Dick Stevenson
If you undertake yacht deliveries you often get inaccurate assessments of the serviceability of equipment on board, lights and any electronics are always to be thoroughly checked before setting off because all brokers and most owners just say "yes, everything's working fine"
This was a delivery trip for a yacht we had no real history on as the owner had sadly passed away and we had been assured by relatives that the ships VHF was operational, it was initially but got worse as the trip progressed and had pretty poor transmission and reception possibly due to antenna problems which we did not fix although we did try an emergency antenna with no success.
We were informed the handheld VHF was new so did not pack a back up for the delivery trip, it looked new and we put it on charge as we left Leros in the Aegean and tried it out for a short period only as we contacted Messina Straits traffic control which probably lasted less than a minute but had no reason to try it out for longer periods until the ships VHF failed in an emergency.
We bought a new ICOM handheld in Gibraltar
Lesson learned: - take your own VHF Handheld and charger for every delivery.
GO

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