Marco Island, FL asked in Admiralty / Maritime for Florida

Q: Boarding a ship with out the permission of the Capt. is it illegal? and is it a act of piracy?

I am a writer and am doing a article for several web sites and mag's on the boarding laws past and present. Maritime law or Admiralty law

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles R. Lipcon
Charles R. Lipcon
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Yes, boarding a ship without the permission of the captain or an officer or crewmember designated by him is a violation of international maritime law. At the very minimum, the individual boarding the vessel without permission may be considered a stowaway, but in many countries, doing so qualifies as piracy and the guilty party may be subject to fines as well as imprisonment. However, when an individual boards a vessel for the purposes of saving a life, preventing a personal injury or property damage, they are not considered to be committing piracy.

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