Chad and Nadia have been depicted in the press of performing illegal activities. We fully reject this for the following reasons:
1. The seasted in question is outside the territorial waters of Thailand and was never intended to ever intrude into territorial waters of Thailand. Insofar it is impossible by logic that we endanger the sovereignty of Thailand or are guilty of respective crimes applicable within Thailand.
2. The claim of the Thai authorities, that the seasted would be WITHIN territorial waters of Thailand, is obviously false. It is clearly outside the 12 miles-zone. Here are the coordinates: 7.487162, 98.581792
Everybody can check this on his or her own.
3. The seasted is within the so-called Contiguous Zone (12-24 nautical miles). Here, very limited regulation is applicable. According to Article 33 of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), of which Thailand is a party, only the following areas are subject to Thai authority:
a) prevention of infringement of customs laws and regulations – not applicable; we do neither want to trade or produce something that is imported into Thailand; we buy products on the mainland and pay the usual tax there, we do not further export those items.
b) prevention of infringement of fiscal laws and regulations – we are not planning to create any tax loopholes for people that have taxable activity in Thailand; all items we have ordered in Thailand are subject to Thai VAT and income tax for the Thai sellers; the shipyard in Phuket that built the seasted has us treated like any other buyer from Thailand.
c) prevention of infringement of immigration laws and regulations – we are not planning to let people immigrate through our seasted; instead all people coming to us must clear immigration with Thailand before.
d) prevention of infringement of sanitary laws and regulations – we are ecologically and sanitarily sustainable; one of the things we want to prove is that this is possible while living on the sea. The home has six 220 Watt solar panels feeding 6 marine grade batteries which provide power to the seastead. The seastead has a water maker to convert sea water to fresh water. Any biodegradable waste was used to feed the flourishing fish population below the seastead and any other waste is properly disposed of (not into the ocean).
4. It has been the official stance of Ocean Builders to be apolitical and we have no intention of creating an “independent state” nor a “micro nation”. The same is true for Chad and Nadia who are just a loving couple of two seasteading pioneers who want to live free on the seas, thereby respecting applicable regulation of UNCLOS and the rights of Thailand within the Contiguous Zone. The two of them present neither a danger to Thai sovereignty nor the shipping routes.
5. Our seasted is so small (6 meters wide) and not located near any known shipping route, so that the claim it would hinder ship movements is ridiculous and must be outrightly rejected. There is no need to destroy, sink or remove our seasted. Any respective activity would be illegal. We are reserving all of our property rights on the seasted insofar.
6. If the Thai authorities insist on their false claims against us, we are prepared to bring the case to the International Court of the Law of the Seas (ITCLOS) for further clarification.
7. The seasted-technology that we use is new, innovative, affordable and it has been realized by Thai shipyards. This is a remarkable achievement, bringing Thai shipyards to the top of the world. The technology could be used and sold worldwide, for example in areas where sea levels are rising. Also, an experimental community including an underwater restaurant would be a worldwide tourist attraction to the benefit of Thailand. A win-win situation could be created. To settle the dispute, we are willing to make a formal agreement with Thai authorities defining in detail our legal status within the Contiguous Zone, thereby fully respecting Thailand’s rights and interests and creating more wealth for the whole Phuket area.