Sea rescuers such as the local SAR units, the German DGzRS, the French SNSM, etc.do not go to prison.
However, I am not expanding this statement to include vicarious agents of criminal smuggling gangs!
The rescue of the sea is first of all about naked life, nothing else.
IAMSAR Vol.3 describes very precisely how sea rescue “works” :
In Section 2:38, for example, you can read under “Care of Survivors”:
“They must be delivered to a place of safety as quick as possible”
This place is NOT necessarily a port, it can also be a larger ship, for example.
This location is determined by the SAR Mission Controller (SMC) in cooperation with the responsible Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) and the on-site On Scene Coordinator (OSC), usually the captain of the first ship arriving at the site of the accident.
In the mare nostrum, the Grosse Syrte, where many voluntarily become shipwrecked, belongs to the Libya SRR (Search and Rescue Region). (The Italian SRR begins MUCH,MUCH further north!)
Consequently, maritime rescue must be coordinated with the Libyans, and this also applies to shipwrecked people off the Libyan coast, because it should be remembered that these methods of commercial shipping have been developed with the aim of saving the lives of shipwrecked people. and bring them home without unnecessarily extending the rescuers’ routes.
Picking up migrants is not such a case!
A tradition (sea rescue) is used to encourage (illegal) migration.
The deliberate fusion of various international conventions (Vienna Convention on Conventions, Geneva Convention on Refugees, SOLAS, ICMSAR…) makes the matter legally easier for no one: while the e.g. rescue of the shipwrecked are at their end in Libya, Libya may not be the appropriate place for the movement of a refugee within the meaning of the Geneva Convention.
A publication of the Bundestag in 2017 (WD-2-106/17) refers to the ambiguous legal situation in several places.
On the unpaved steppe of the African continent, the erasure or misuse of conventions for illegal purposes is certainly not a school material, but in the case of people smugglers I assume that they know very well what they are doing.
If people like Mrs Rackete want to join in and create facts through their actions, flouting the law and procedures in force, they are doing a disservice to the rescue of the sea!
In the future, the captains are more likely to come close to smugglers than heroes and shipwrecked people to illegal immigrants than to those in need of a car; that cannot be the point of salvation!
I therefore think it is right that the ‘sea rescuers’ who have been mentioned in the issue should be held accountable for their wrongdoing.