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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Cape's False Bay: a possible haven for ships in distress
Author:Devine, D.J.ISNI
Periodical:South African Yearbook of International Law
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:territorial waters
maritime transport
water pollution
Abstract:Despite the opening of the Suez Canal in 1888, the Cape sea route to the East Indies continued to remain an important sea route. Especially the bigger oil tanks are obliged to take the Cape route. In the vicinity of South Africa, this sea route is one of the most dangerous for navigation. The one major refuge on the south coast is False Bay. The harbour of Simonstown, situated within False Bay, offers shelter all the year round. A description of three incidents involving oil leaking ships brings into sharp focus the need to balance the rights of ships in distress against the interests of a coastal State in avoiding pollution of its coastal area and maritime zones. This paper examines South African legislation on entry into internal waters, and entry rights in international law. In international law ships in distress have a right to enter internal waters to seek refuge. The question which arises is whether entry may be limited by legitimate interests of the coastal State. Two such interests, which are conflicting, appear to exist: prejudice to the coastal State, and the principle of self-help. Notes, ref.