Professor of Commercial and Maritime Law at the Faculty of Law of the Dalian Maritime University in China, former Chairman of the Maritime Law Institute of the University of Southampton, a lawyer, an advisor and a law expert in London – the second issue of his book “The law of yachts and yachting” has just been published – Filippo Lorenzon has no doubts: At sea, the most important thing will always be safety. Often boaters have no perception, from a legal point of view, of that might happen in case of accident. Today, safety is essential and the culture of safety should be well established in the yachtsman who, very often, thinks like a driver rather than a sea dog. Unfortunately the same type of accident which can occur on the road can have more serious consequences at sea, from a legal point of view.
Does this happen especially out of Italian waters?
Of course. Every country has its own rules and its way to enforce them. When sailing abroad, yachtsmen must know and respect them. Ignorance is not an excuse. When you set course for a foreign country, even if only for a few miles, you must know and respect the rules of the other country. To have your original valid license and a good insurance policy is essential. Before living, they must verify the coverage of their policy and see whether this is appropriate for the way they want to use boat.
In short, to have fun but judiciously?
To have fun, it is essential to navigate in safety. Even in Italy, where a new Recreational Boating Code has recently come into force. Even the most experienced yachtsmen must know it. I say that because, in addition to being a lawyer, I also worked for the Port Authority and I know very well all the potential risks of safety neglicence.