Plenty of people around here have heard of Sealand. It’s an old WW2-era gun platform off the coast of England that a guy named Roy Bates claimed as his own independant country. And English courts backed him up, since the platform was in international waters at the time Bates claimed it.
On a whim, I checked the Wiki page for it, and was surprised to learn that Roy Bates died last year, and was succeeded as Prince of Sealand by his son.
Does anybody know what’s going on with Sealand these days? Does anyone actually live there? (Apparently, Roy Bates was living in England at the time of his death.) What condition is it in? I’d think that at some point, the platform will rust thru and sink.
They have their own website and Facebookpage.
Apart from that, I know nothing. Sorry
Apparently no-one lives there and it’s now mostly a server farm. It’s a big, heavy-duty concrete platform resting on the sea-bed, and designed to repel the Luftwaffe, so it should last a fair while.
Not quite true. English courts determined the UK didn’t have jurisdiction over the site, which is a bit different than backing his territorial claim. No other nation, including the UK, has formally recognized Sealand as a sovereign state.
IIRC, they were up for sale a few years back but didn’t get any takers. And I think the Pirate Bay was trying to buy it up last year or the year before as a safe haven for operations but got no traction.
[hijack] Suppose I buy Bir Tawil and declare myself ruler and am recognized by the US. If I still live in the US would I have diplomatic immunity?[/hijack]
Probably for the best that Pirate Bay didn’t get it. The only reason Roy Bates was allowed to get away with it was because he was fairly harmless. If some unsavory group started using Sealand for illegal purposes, I suspect (quite strongly, in fact) that before too long a “mysterious” explosion would send Sealand to the bottom of the ocean. Or at least damage it enough to justify having it removed as a navigational hazard.
It has had a quite serious fire in 2006, which will apparently cost $1,000,000 to repair.
First of all, diplomatic immunity is extended by the hosting country, so the US would have to willingly grant it to you. I don’t think a random foreign official can just show up unannounced and demand diplomatic immunity.
Second of all, if you’re a US Citizen, it’s quite likely that the US would NEVER give you diplomatic immunity, even as an ambassador of a foreign country they recognize, unless your renounce your US Citizenship.