Recent changes in German maritime safety rules hamper the ability of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean because NGOs’ vessels are no longer exempt from certain safety standards and ensuring compliance with said standards would be prohibitively expensive for NGOs. It has been alleged that the measure had been taken by the relevant authorities with the sole purpose of hindering the efforts of private SAR operators. In this text the reader is introduced to the crossroads of human rights, safety, SAR efforts and the international law of the sea. The author concludes that maritime safety standards should not become the object of mere political considerations.
Field of science