Stay at home and don’t be like these clueless people

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Cases like this-most recently heard from all over Italy. As the local news site Sassari Notizie reports, “off the coast of Alghero, two sailors who were conveniently sailing on their pleasure craft were spotted and reported. In order to reach the vessel, they had violated regulations regarding travel within the municipal area: certainly not including leaving home to go on their own boat among the stipulated scenarios. The two were reported by the Yellow Flames to the judicial authority in Sassari.”

The problem is just that. Reaching one’s boat-unless one lives on board-involves moving from home: this, it bears repeating, unless it is done for unavoidable reasons of work or health, is a criminal offense (Art. 650 of the Criminal Code, which provides for an arrest of up to three months or a fine of up to 206 euros). Going out to sea is also a great stupidity. In the event of a breakdown at sea or illness on board and subsequent distress call, it forces bodies such as the Coast Guard and GdF to deploy forces, which, in times of Coronavirus emergency, could be deployed elsewhere.

The case, if you think about it, is exactly the same as someone who goes out for a jog outside the house (“the decree does not expressly forbid it”), trips and breaks an ankle, forcing emergency room doctors to assist him or her by taking resources away where they are much more needed.

We try to use our heads. The true sailor knows that when a gale is raging outside, one does not go out to sea. The more we avoid stupidities like the one accomplished by the two Sardinian sailors, the less time will separate us from when we can finally pull two edges with our beloved boats.

Eugene Ruocco

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