Every citizen matters in Bahrain
The true test of statesmanship is always how a nation takes care of its citizens – and in this global village that we now live in, that means the machinery of the State must reach out to its sons and daughters wherever they are, across oceans and mountains.
How heartwarming it is that our beloved King, HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa so clearly articulated his love and concern for Bahrainis, saying that citizens will be cared for wherever they are in the world. Against the backdrop of the return of Bahraini body-building champion Sami Al-Haddad and the Bahraini fishermen who were wrongfully detained in Qatar, this is an assurance for each one of us that the leaders of our country will do everything to protect us.
As a seasoned seaman myself, I want to explain to the reader that it often happens that boats and ships stray into the territorial waters of other countries by mistake – especially pleasure crafts. Even the most mechanised craft with all the tracking devices and modern GPS, can go off course because out there in the wide seas, there are so many elements that you have no control over. A strong gust of wind or a particularly high waves can knock a mid-size vessel into the territorial waters of another country unintentionally.
This is something that most maritime authorities are aware of and there are rules and policies to sort out such issues in a friendly manner. Much depends on the intention of the persons and the vessel which has gone astray. Does it affect the commercial or geographic interests of the country? Is it a leisure craft or a submarine? In the recent case, it was clear that the Bahraini boat was out on a leisure fishing trip and the occupant was a globally famous sportsman. There was clearly no need to escalate the matter in the manner that Qatar chose to do.
Let us offer our gratitude to our King and to HRH the Crown Prince & PM that they ensured that no stone was left unturned to bring back our Bahraini brothers.
- Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood
Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood