Thursday, May 20, 2010

Avast ye! Heave-to and prepare to be boarded!

I not a pirate be, Laddie, but a Gentleman of Enterprise. And today I am looking into the enterprising business of being suitably authorised to lawfully detain, ie 'arrest', ships under Admiralty (or Maritime) Law. Usually this is done when the ship is in port but may also be performed if at anchor.


Okay, so no hoisting of the Jolly Roger but maybe I'll be permitted to wear an eyepatch or something.

Anyway, I barely know Port from Starboard (actually, I do - but I am otherwise ignorant of things nautical) but I don't see how that could possibly be a hindrance.


  1. A lot of work has been going on around this topic with regard to the Somali pirates. International navies are grapling with the legality of detaining these pirates and their ships.

    Then again they're working in international waters as opposed to territorial waters, so somewhat different laws apply I'd assume.

  2. Shiver me timbers, Lubber, diff'rent laws apply. Arrr!

    Arrest of vessels in port is usually to recoup monies owed by the ship's owner. This is usually a Civil remedy rather than Criminal (as implied by the term 'arrest').

    Basically it is fairly much akin to a repossession of a security when the debtor is in default of a credit agreement - although in this case the security is the vessel itself.