Case Study

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Case Study

مُساهمة من طرف ود فـــــراج في السبت 21 مايو 2011, 00:51

Whilst on passage to its discharge port on the European side of the Mediterranean Sea......the bridge look out reported what appeared to be a small boat and someone on board waving. It was July, late afternoon but still good daylight and the weather was good with with a slight sea and light winds. The chief officer, who was the officer of the watch at the time, altered course to take closer look. It quickly became apparent that there were many people of african type origin, on board this small boat although very few were showing any sign of active movement. The master was called and general emergency stations were sounded
The chief officer, with some crewmembers launched a life boat and went across to the boat in distress. They were horrified by what they found. There was a total of about thirty men, women and children in the boat.....most of them either not conscious or barely conscious. No one spoke a language which was understood by the chief officer of the crewmembers. Attempts were made to take the boat in tow but the started to break up and so the occupants of the boat were transferred into the life boat........except six bodies which were clearly dead and which had started to decay. The boat subsequently sank with the six bodies onboard
The lifeboat was recovered onboard the vessel and first aid, water, food and clothing were given to the people who had been saved from the boat. The master sent word ahead to the agents, and the ship owners, as to what had happened and to advise that they had 24 refugees onboard in need of medical assistance. The ship arrived at its destination twenty hours later. The vessel was immediately boarded by immigration officers and police who arrested the master and chief officer on a charge of alleged smuggling of illegal immigrants. The master and chief officer were escorted off the ship and detained in a prison cell ashore
A place guard was placed onboard the ship although no medical aid was allowed aboard. The officers remaining onboard managed to contact the ship owners who alerted the local P&I club correspondent to the situation. Through the intervention of the club correspondent a medical team was allowed onboard and the refugees were taken ashore to hospital facilities
A lawyer was appointed by the Club Correspondent to facilitate the release of the master and chief officer. By this time the local newspapers, radio and television were carring stories about how this ship had been caught trying to smuggle in illegal immigrants
Whilst the P&I Correspondent was onboard it came to light that the cook onboard had filmed the whole rescue operation on his video camera
When the video film was shown on the judge it was clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that the people onboard the ship were not smugglers of illegal immigrants but rather heroes who had gallantly rescued and saved the lives of 24 human beings....who were now being treated as criminals in a supposed civilised country

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