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In the Med, the NGO were accused of a bit more than rescuing people in distress. There are various reports from Italian prosecutors claiming the whole thing was coordinated with the traffickers in Libya. Pick-up points agreed, AIS switched off to mask the location of pickup, mobile phones provided and even accusations of fees paid. A service to rival Uber. They were even deliberately tasked by coast guard to go on wild goose hunts to prevent them from picking illegal immigrants.


If they are rescuing refugees in distress, they are not committing any offence
Correct
Only because there is no international water for them to operate in, as far as the current channel crossings are concerned.
irrelevent

If you pick them up in coordination with rescue services and take them to the nearest safe port, you are complying with your obligation under SOLAS convention. If you coordinate with the smugglers a pickup off the coast and ferry them to their destination, you will likely end up like the 2000 or so who have been prosecuted in Italy and Greece. Some pretty big sentences handed out too. The UK government have implemented similar laws much to the concern of the RNLI for example.

 
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In the Med, the NGO were accused of a bit more than rescuing people in distress. There are various reports from Italian prosecutors claiming the whole thing was coordinated with the traffickers in Libya. Pick-up points agreed, AIS switched off to mask the location of pickup, mobile phones provided and even accusations of fees paid. A service to rival Uber. They were even deliberately tasked by coast guard to go on wild goose hunts to prevent them from picking illegal immigrants.



Correct

irrelevent

If you pick them up in coordination with rescue services and take them to the nearest safe port, you are complying with your obligation under SOLAS convention. If you coordinate with the smugglers a pickup off the coast and ferry them to their destination, you will likely end up like the 2000 or so who have been prosecuted in Italy and Greece. Some pretty big sentences handed out too. The UK government have implemented similar laws much to the concern of the RNLI for example.

Time for them to apply to UK, or another country, for asylum from unfair prosecution.
Their application would clearly be a genuine case.
 
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You should contact them and offer them your substantial legal expertise. You seem to have found criteria never previously mentioned in any of the conventions, precedents or statutes. I'm sure they would be delighted to hear of your assurances they have a genuine case.
 
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You should contact them and offer them your substantial legal expertise. You seem to have found criteria never previously mentioned in any of the conventions, precedents or statutes. I'm sure they would be delighted to hear of your assurances they have a genuine case.
You seem pleased that rescuing boats in distress has become criminalised if those boats contain refugees?

What are these criteria that I'm supposed to have found relevant to refugees' boats in distress, and the NGO's rescuing them?

The right-wing anti-foreigner type are becoming extremists:

What is being criminalized?​

  • Giving food
  • Giving hot tea
  • Providing shelter
  • Giving exhausted people a lift
  • Tweeting
  • Helping people in the mountains
  • Taking children to the Police station
  • Flashing the lights of a car
  • Informing people about their rights
  • Alerting the Coast Guard about people drowning at sea
  • Rescuing people at sea
  • Monitoring and reporting human rights violations
  • Protesting against returns to detention and torture
  • Demonstrating peacefully
  • Stopping a deportation flight
  • Protecting people from pushbacks
The list shows just some ludicrous examples of cases that Amnesty has documented, where simple acts of solidarity result in criminal prosecutions by authorities across Europe.
 
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You seem pleased that rescuing boats in distress has become criminalised if those boats contain refugees?

What are these criteria that I'm supposed to have found relevant to refugees' boats in distress, and the NGO's rescuing them?
It hasn't.

The offences are coordinating, assisting and trafficking illegal immigration.

Nothing stops a vessel rescuing people in danger and taking them to the nearest safe port.
 
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It hasn't.
Yet the Italian and Greek right-wing governments have used poorly worded EU law to prosecute the NGO rescue boats.
The EU law was looser than the UNHCR law on which it was based, and allows exploitation of that poorly worded EU law.
The UNHCR law

The offences are coordinating, assisting and trafficking illegal immigration.
There has not been any evidence available., nor produced to substantiate your comment.
Many boats have been impounded on Covid grounds.
Most allegations have been dismissed or acquitted.

Nothing stops a vessel rescuing people in danger and taking them to the nearest safe port.
The threat of arrest and prosecution, and the impounding of boats (while investigations continue) now stops those NGO rescue boats from operating. Many charges have been dismissed. Others are still investigating ships logs, radio comms, etc. Others rely on spying and similar underhand evidence collection.
Evidently the objective was not to save lives.
 
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They cross a line when they assist the traffickers, whether state orchestrated or organised crime. As soon as you assist the illegal migration rather than rescue those in immediate danger you expose yourself.

As a reminder Mayday - is a distress (call): A vessel or person is in grave and imminent danger and requires immediate assistance. They might have some legs responding to a Pan Pan, but anything else is illegal.
 
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There was a little more about the lack of rescue on the BBC today. Both sides police where contacted. The people are told to phone them if problems - or these particular ones were. Drifting was mentioned. It seems the French responded nearly in UK water so contact them. It seems the French have rescued some - from an interview. There will be an enquiry so more details may come out.
 
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You don't really get much head or assistance tide in the part of the channel the illegals use. Its mainly 90 degrees to their course. Dover (the reference port) HW-4 is the closest you get to a tide that could take a vessel in UK waters back in to French waters. If they were further west (Newhaven : dieppe) then there is a small stream south where the "Atlantic" streams meets the North Sea stream.
Screenshot 2022-11-24 at 16.29.03.png
 
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They cross a line when they assist the traffickers, whether state orchestrated or organised crime. As soon as you assist the illegal migration rather than rescue those in immediate danger you expose yourself.
There's been no evidence that they are assisting traffickers.
More importantly the UNHCR expressly states that the status of the people in distress does not affect the expectation for them to be rescued.
So it makes no difference if they were refugees, or even the traffickers themselves, if they are in distress, they should be rescued without prejudice.

The vast majority of the charges have been dismissed so far. There are some still pending. But that is the point of the charges, to take the NGOs out of the operation.
 
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You don't really get much head or assistance tide in the part of the channel the illegals use. Its mainly 90 degrees to their course. Dover (the reference port) HW-4 is the closest you get to a tide that could take a vessel in UK waters back in to French waters. If they were further west (Newhaven : dieppe) then there is a small stream south where the "Atlantic" streams meets the North Sea stream. View attachment 286687
The wind may have more influence than the tide.
 
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The wind may have more influence than the tide.
That would be unusual for 2 reasons:
1. The prevailing winds are westerlies due to the Coriolis affect, thats not to say we don't get northerlies in the autumn as we do about 20-30% of the time.
2. Water is 800 times denser than air, so even in a gale force wind, given these aren't sailing boats, tide will likely win.
There's been no evidence that they are assisting traffickers.
More importantly the UNHCR expressly states that the status of the people in distress does not affect the expectation for them to be rescued.
So it makes no difference if they were refugees, or even the traffickers themselves, if they are in distress, they should be rescued without prejudice.

The vast majority of the charges have been dismissed so far. There are some still pending. But that is the point of the charges, to take the NGOs out of the operation.
We don't know what evidence has been collected.
The argument is that they are not in distress when assisted. To be safe the rescuing ship should issue a mayday relay and coordinate with the coast guard while attempting a rescue. Switching off your AIS and radio so that you cannot be directed, would leave you exposed.
Many "NGO crew" have already been convicted, some cases are being paused due to procedural issues.
 
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Many "NGO crew" have already been convicted, some cases are being paused due to procedural issues
Under appeal I think it will be thrown out. It effectively means leave people to drown. The only stipulation is that they must be rescued. Pick up and help to get them where they want to go is a different matter or is it due to risk?

What appears to have happened with this particular drowning is some debate if the French or UK should rescue them. That appears to be down to the boats position, It seems the UK did send a ship but not a search and rescue type. The debate caused a delay. That debate may have been caused by a rather silly law. It means that any one who goes has to observe and only pick up if they really are in trouble. Actually I think that is what NGO's in the med may actually do. It also could explain why the French seem to have escorted boats until they are in UK water. I vaguely remember mention of this happening. As dangerous it could be said both sides should do this. We know they are there and know that the crossing can be dangerous. Then add the miasma of refugee laws.

Actually going on a rescued refugee interview it seems the French did rescue him and take him back to France.

Mobile phones and rescue etc. Encouraged as many have them. Better available but better than nothing.
 
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Sorry @ajohn I often struggle to understand your point. Is your first language Scandinavian by any chance? There are two different things being discussed here. The first is the rescue of illegal immigrants in the English Channel, the other is the prosecution of NGOs operating in the Mediterranean.

I think you are saying that we have a silly law where only illegals in distress can be rescued and taken ashore without risking a facilitation charge. Yes thats correct. This seems to be the excuse used in France when illegal immigrants attempt to cross the English Channel and refuse help knowing that if picked up in French waters they will likely be returned to France. It creates a situation where they do not ask for help until they have crossed the straights of dover (the halfway point).

In the NGO situation they are accused of picking up illegals many miles away from Italian and greek waters, who are not in distress and taking them to Italy, Greece etc often in collusion with the traffickers. Here we have a breach of law which would also be the same if it were in the UK (we have similar anti-facilitation laws).

You can't go picking people up of the coast of somewhere else and ferry them to a UK or European port without placing yourself at risk of protection. If they are in danger and need assistance you can rescue them and take them to their nearest safe port.

Its like the basic RAC service - it excludes onward travel, just a tow to the garage.
 
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That would be unusual for 2 reasons:
1. The prevailing winds are westerlies due to the Coriolis affect, thats not to say we don't get northerlies in the autumn as we do about 20-30% of the time.
2. Water is 800 times denser than air, so even in a gale force wind, given these aren't sailing boats, tide will likely win.
Inflatables are shallow draught and with occupants they have a large area subject to wind.
The average wind in the channel is a South Westerly. That would tend to blow them up the channel toward UK.
1669370826616.png




We don't know what evidence has been collected.
The argument is that they are not in distress when assisted. To be safe the rescuing ship should issue a mayday relay and coordinate with the coast guard while attempting a rescue. Switching off your AIS and radio so that you cannot be directed, would leave you exposed.
Many "NGO crew" have already been convicted, some cases are being paused due to procedural issues.
Here is a summary of charges against boats and crews. The vast majority of cases have been dismissed, or are still pending.
Keeping cases pending is probably intentional because the objective was to stop the NGO boats operating,
In the downloadable file at the bottom of the page, updated Table 2 provides further details on the ongoing or closed investigations and administrative or criminal proceedings against private entities involved in SAR operations as at June 2019, of which FRA is aware (having reviewed publicly available sources). It shows that although more Member States opened such legal cases compared to last year (Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain), many opened cases ended with an acquittal or were discontinued due to the lack of evidence, while others were still pending at the time of the update.

To be safe a rescuing ship can transmit a mayday relay, but there is no requirement to do so.

There is no evidence to suggest that what you allege occurred, as far as switching off the AIS or radio.
 
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