The opening to ACrew's 'MLC and Migrants' open discussion began with a clear announcement: the superyacht industry can no longer claim the migrant crisis is irrelevant - a superyacht has now taken part in a rescue operation.

The day before the discussion took place, those leading the workshop were in discussions about the next day's event when a first officer approached them and announced the yacht had recently taken part in one such rescue.

"Up until today I could not defend the necessity that yachts get involved [in migrant rescues] with an example. It has now happened. The probability has become a reality," announced Captain Rod Hatch at the ACrew discussion.

Captain Rod hatch (left), Lars Lippuner (middle) and David Summerfield of Securewest (right)

In light of this announcement, the discussion, which aimed to offer captains advice on preparation for taking part in a rescue, became focused on 'when', rather than 'what if?'

"The risk is now real, and if you don't have a plan in place you are remiss," Captain Hatch announced. "If you're a captain you need a pre-planned decision guide," he said. To alleviate the heavy weight of responsibly falling on captains' shoulders in this contest, he then added, "The captain's decision will not be the wrong one."

Lars Lippuner, business development manager at Warsash Superyacht Academy and chair of the captains' discussion, candidly concluded, "It's not about PR and it's not a political thing. It's simply humans trying to help humans."

The yacht that has taken part in this rescue operation is as yet unknown, but Captain Hatch is hoping to confirm this shortly.

More details and advice on preparation for migrant rescues will appear on next week.

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