We’ve all seen it on TV, we’ve all heard of it on the news, some of us may have even witnessed it first hand, but it’s undeniable that Europe is facing an on-going crisis that concerns refugees and migrants fleeing Syria.
But how does it concern yachtsmen?
With migrant routes in the Western, Central and Eastern Mediterranean it is possible that yacht crew will encounter migrants in distress. Although we’re now heading into the winter season, and expecting a decline in refugees during this time, it is already estimated that 480,000 people have risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea – with sadly an estimate of 2,800 losing their lives.
Whilst I now live in Holland, we’ve just begun to see a real impact here. I can however imagine how scared one must be to see a small inflatable filled with people on starboard side. What do you do? How do you act? Are we prepared? These are some of the first things I would ask myself.
During the Monaco Yacht Show, ACREW and our partners held a debate on this subject and discussed ways of planning ahead. One of the reoccurring topics was the practical preparation and actions captains need to apply before and whilst encountering this situation. Not only can it save lives but it can also protect your crew and vessel.