Principality of Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs
HM Fort Roughs
HM Fort Roughs was one of several World War II installations, that were designed by Guy Maunsell and known collectively as His Majesty's Forts or as Maunsell Sea Forts, and its purpose was to guard the port of Harwich, Essex...

, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 10 km (six miles) off the coast of Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (51°53'40"N, 1°28'57"E).

Since 1967, the facility has been occupied by the former British Major Paddy Roy Bates
Paddy Roy Bates
- Titles and styles :*2 September 1967–present: His Royal Highness the Prince of Sealand- Full title as Prince :His Royal Highness Roy Bates, Prince of Sealand- References :...

; his associates and family claim that it is an independent sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

. External commentators generally classify Sealand as a micronation
Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations...

 rather than an unrecognized state. While it has been described as the world's smallest nation, Sealand is not currently officially recognised as a sovereign state by any sovereign state. Although Roy Bates claims it is de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the micronation, and by the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand, neither action constitutes de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

recognition as far as the respective countries are concerned.

History of HM Fort Roughs

In 1943, during World War II, HM Fort Roughs was constructed by the United Kingdom as one of the Maunsell Forts
Maunsell Forts
The Maunsell Forts were small fortified towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They were named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. The forts were decommissioned in the late 1950s and later used for other activities...

, primarily for defence against German mine-laying aircraft that might be targeting the estuaries that were part of vital shipping lanes; It comprised a floating pontoon
Pontoon (boat)
A pontoon is a flotation device with buoyancy sufficient to float itself as well as a heavy load. A pontoon boat is a flattish boat that relies on pontoons to float. Pontoons may be used on boats, rafts, barges, docks, floatplanes or seaplanes. Pontoons may support a platform, creating a raft. A...

 base with a superstructure of two hollow towers joined by a deck upon which other structures could be added. The fort was towed to a position above the Rough Sands sandbar, where its base was deliberately flooded to allow it to sink to its final resting place on the sandbar. The location chosen was approximately six miles from the coast of Suffolk
Suffolk is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in East Anglia, England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east...

, outside the then three-mile territorial water
Three-mile limit
The three-mile limit refers to a traditional and now largely obsolete conception of the international law of the seas which defined a country's territorial waters, for the purposes of trade regulation and exclusivity, as extending as far as the reach of cannons fired from land.In Mare clausum John...

 claim of the United Kingdom and therefore in international waters
International waters
The terms international waters or trans-boundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems , and wetlands.Oceans,...

. The facility (called Roughs Tower or HM Fort Roughs) was occupied by 150–300 Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 personnel throughout World War II; not until well after the war, in 1956, were the last full-time personnel taken off HM Fort Roughs.

Occupation by Roy Bates and the establishment of Sealand

On 2 September 1967, the fort was occupied by Major Paddy Roy Bates
Paddy Roy Bates
- Titles and styles :*2 September 1967–present: His Royal Highness the Prince of Sealand- Full title as Prince :His Royal Highness Roy Bates, Prince of Sealand- References :...

, a British subject and pirate radio
Pirate radio
Pirate radio is illegal or unregulated radio transmission. The term is most commonly used to describe illegal broadcasting for entertainment or political purposes, but is also sometimes used for illegal two-way radio operation...

 broadcaster, who ejected a competing group of pirate broadcasters. Bates intended to broadcast his pirate radio station Radio Essex from the platform.

In 1968, British workmen entered what Bates claimed to be his territorial waters in order to service a navigational buoy near the platform. Michael Bates (son of Paddy Roy Bates) tried to scare the workmen off by firing warning shots from the former fort. As Bates was a British subject
British subject
In British nationality law, the term British subject has at different times had different meanings. The current definition of the term British subject is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981.- Prior to 1949 :...

 at the time, he was summoned to court in England on firearms charges following the incident. But the court ruled that as the platform (which Bates was now calling "Sealand") was outside British jurisdiction, being beyond the then three-mile limit of the country's waters, the case could not proceed. In 1975, Bates introduced a constitution for Sealand, followed by a flag, a national anthem, a currency and passports.

In August 1978, while Bates and his wife were in England, Alexander Achenbach, who describes himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, hired several German and Dutch mercenaries to spearhead an attack of Roughs Tower. They stormed the tower with speedboats and helicopters, and took Bates' son hostage. Bates was able to retake the tower and capture Achenbach and the mercenaries. Achenbach, a German lawyer who held a Sealand passport, was charged with treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 against Sealand and was held unless he paid DM
German mark
The Deutsche Mark |mark]], abbreviated "DM") was the official currency of West Germany and Germany until the adoption of the euro in 2002. It is commonly called the "Deutschmark" in English but not in German. Germans often say "Mark" or "D-Mark"...

 75,000 (more than US$ 35,000 or £23,000). The governments of the Netherlands, Austria and Germany petitioned the British government for his release, but the United Kingdom disavowed his imprisonment, citing the 1968 court decision. Germany then sent a diplomat from its London embassy to Roughs Tower to negotiate for Achenbach's release. Roy Bates relented after several weeks of negotiations and subsequently claimed that the diplomat's visit constituted de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

recognition of Sealand by Germany.

Following his repatriation, Achenbach and Gernot Pütz established a "government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

", sometimes known as the Sealand Rebel Government, or Sealandic Rebel Government, in Germany, Aschenbach's appointed successor, Johannes Seiger, continues to claim via his website that he is Sealand's legitimate ruling authority.

Post-1990 history

  • 1997: Because of the massive number of illegal passports in circulation (estimated at 150,000), the Bates family revoked all Sealand passports, including those that they themselves had issued over the previous twenty-two years.
  • 2006: On the afternoon of 23 June 2006, the top platform of the Roughs Tower caught fire due to an electrical failure. A Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     rescue helicopter transferred one person to Ipswich hospital, directly from the tower. The Harwich
    Harwich is a town in Essex, England and one of the Haven ports, located on the coast with the North Sea to the east. It is in the Tendring district. Nearby places include Felixstowe to the northeast, Ipswich to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea to the south...

    Lifeboat (rescue)
    A rescue lifeboat is a boat rescue craft which is used to attend a vessel in distress, or its survivors, to rescue crewmen and passengers. It can be hand pulled, sail powered or powered by an engine...

     stood by the Roughs Tower until a local fire tug extinguished the fire. All damage was repaired by November 2006.
  • In January 2007, The Pirate Bay
    The Pirate Bay
    The Pirate Bay is a Swedish website which hosts magnet links and .torrent files, which allow users to share electronic files, including multimedia, computer games and software via BitTorrent...

     attempted to buy Sealand after harsher copyright
    Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

     measures in Sweden forced them to look for a base of operations elsewhere. The deal fell through.
  • 2007 - 2010: Sealand was offered for sale through Spanish estate company InmoNaranja. Since a principality cannot technically be sold, Sealand's current owners plan to transfer "custodianship". The asking price is
    The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

    750 million (£600 million).
  • 2012: Sealand online Casino is expected to be opened by late 2012 (see #Economy).


It has been reported that a film about Sealand is in production. It was originally pencilled-in for release in 2008, but has yet to be released. Sean Sorensen has been named as the writer, and Mike Newell
Mike Newell (director)
Michael Cormac "Mike" Newell is an English director and producer of motion pictures for the screen and for television. After the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Newell became the third most commercially successful British director in recent years, behind Christopher Nolan...

 as director. Michael Bates has verified this claim in an interview on YouTube.

An Austrian
Cinema of Austria
Austria has had an active cinema industry since the early 20th century. Sascha Kolowrat-Krakowsky was among the Austrian pioneers of this art. Several Austrians pursued a career in pre-Nazi Germany and later in the United States, among them Fritz Lang, Josef von Sternberg, Billy Wilder, Fred...

A documentary is a creative work of non-fiction, including:* Documentary film, including television* Radio documentary* Documentary photographyRelated terms include:...

 film called Empire Me focuses on the micronation
Micronations, sometimes also referred to as model countries and new country projects, are entities that claim to be independent nations or states but which are not recognized by world governments or major international organizations...

 movement and covers Sealand.

The film has been pushed back to at least 2012, according to recent interview on YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....


The film "Hetalia: Paint it White" features Sealand as a minor character with a functioning sea fortress, stating that if it "helps the other countries, maybe they'll accept Sealand as a real country." Sealand also appears at the end of the movie, no longer a "noppera".

In music

The Battle of Sealand
The Battle of Sealand
The Battle of Sealand is the first studio album from the American shoegaze band Airiel. It was released in August 2007 on Chicago-based Highwheel Records...

 is the first studio album from the American shoegaze band Airiel
Airiel is an American shoegaze band from Chicago, Illinois, characterized by their melodic take on the shoegaze style.-Biography:Airiel was formed as Airiel Project One in 1997, in Bloomington, Indiana, by Jeremy Wrenn and former bandmate Shawn Delaney. This followed the break-up of Wrenn's...

. It was released in August 2007 on Chicago-based Highwheel Records. The album is named after the Principality of Sealand. According to an article on the Sealand News website, the members of the band were granted the noble titles of Lord in recognition of naming their CD after the micronation. On 30 September 2007, it was announced that they would be the first rock band to perform at Sealand. However, the concert did not take place.

In 2011, English art rock group Art Brut announced that they had written a song about the Principality of Sealand for their fourth studio album Brilliant! Tragic!
Brilliant! Tragic!
Brilliant! Tragic! is the fourth studio album by Art Brut, released on 23 May 2011. The first single from the album will be "Lost Weekend". The album was recorded in Salem, Oregon and is the second to be produced by Frank Black, best known as the frontman of Pixies...

, produced by Pixies frontman Frank Black
Frank Black
Black Francis is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the influential alternative rock band Pixies, with whom he performs under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the name Frank Black...


Comics and animation

In the manga
Manga is the Japanese word for "comics" and consists of comics and print cartoons . In the West, the term "manga" has been appropriated to refer specifically to comics created in Japan, or by Japanese authors, in the Japanese language and conforming to the style developed in Japan in the late 19th...

 and anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series Hetalia: Axis Powers
Hetalia: Axis Powers
is a Japanese webcomic, later adapted as a manga and an anime series, by . The series presents an allegorical trivialisation of political and historic events, particularly of the World War II era, in which the various countries are represented by stereotyped anthropomorphic characters...

by Hidekaz Himaruya, which features stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

d anthropomorphic
Moé anthropomorphism
is a form of anthropomorphism where moe qualities are given to non-human beings, objects, concepts, or phenomena. In addition to moe features, moe anthropomorphisms are also characterized by their accessories, which serve to emphasize their original forms before anthropomorphosis...

 personifications of countries and empires, Sealand is a character. Sealand is described as the smallest character in the series, a reference to the fact it is, "The smallest (unofficial) nation in the world". He is depicted as having short blond hair and wearing a blue and white sailor suit. His obscurity reaches far beyond the grasp of the real Sealand.

Legal status

The claim that Sealand is an independent sovereign state is based on the contention that a 1968 decision of an English court, in which it was held that Roughs Tower was in international waters and thus outside the jurisdiction of the domestic courts.

In international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, the two most common schools of thought for the creation of statehood are the constitutive and declaratory theories of state creation. The constitutive theory was the standard nineteenth-century model of statehood, and the declaratory theory was developed in the twentieth century to address shortcomings of the constitutive theory. In the constitutive theory, a state exists exclusively via recognition by other states. The theory splits on whether this recognition requires "diplomatic recognition" or merely "recognition of existence". No other state grants Sealand official recognition, but it has been argued by Bates that negotiations carried out by Germany constituted "recognition of existence". In the declaratory theory of statehood, an entity becomes a state as soon as it meets the minimal criteria for statehood. Therefore recognition by other states is purely "declaratory".

In 1987, the UK extended its territorial waters from three to twelve miles. Sealand now sits inside waters that Britain claims as its territory.

As a statelike entity

Irrespective of its legal status, Sealand is managed by the Bates family as if it were a recognised sovereign entity, and they are its hereditary royal
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 rulers. Roy Bates styles himself "Prince Roy" and his wife "Princess Joan". Their son is known as "His Royal Highness
Royal Highness
Royal Highness is a style ; plural Royal Highnesses...

 Prince Michael" and has been referred to as the "Prince Regent
Prince Regent
A prince regent is a prince who rules a monarchy as regent instead of a monarch, e.g., due to the Sovereign's incapacity or absence ....

" by the Bates family since 1999. In this role, he apparently serves as Sealand's acting "Head of State" and also its "Head of Government". At a micronations conference hosted by the University of Sunderland
University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland is located in Sunderland, north east England. The university has more than 17,500 students, including 7,000-plus international students from some 70 countries....

 in 2004, Sealand was represented by Michael Bates' son James, who was referred to as "Prince Royal James." The facility is now occupied by one or more caretakers representing Michael Bates, who himself resides in Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, England. On 10 February 2007, Matthew Thompson was appointed an honorary president of Sealand.

Sealand's constitution was instituted in 1974. It consists of a preamble
A preamble is an introductory and expressionary statement in a document that explains the document's purpose and underlying philosophy. When applied to the opening paragraphs of a statute, it may recite historical facts pertinent to the subject of the statute...

 and seven articles. The preamble asserts Sealand's independence, while the articles variously deal with Sealand's status as a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, the empowerment of government bureaus, the role of an appointed, advisory senate
A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class...

, the functions of an appointed, advisory legal tribunal
A tribunal in the general sense is any person or institution with the authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title....

, a proscription against the bearing of arms except by members of a designated "Sealand Guard", the exclusive right of the sovereign to formulate foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 and alter the constitution, and the hereditary patrilinear succession of the monarchy. Sealand's legal system is claimed to follow British common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

, and statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

s take the form of decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

s enacted by the sovereign. Sealand has issued passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

s and has operated as a flag of convenience
Flag of convenience
The term flag of convenience describes the business practice of registering a merchant ship in a sovereign state different from that of the ship's owners, and flying that state's civil ensign on the ship. Ships are registered under flags of convenience to reduce operating costs or avoid the...

 state, and it also holds the Guinness World Record for "the smallest area to lay claim to nation status". Sealand's motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 is E Mare Libertas (From the Sea, Freedom). It appears on Sealandic items, such as stamps, passports, and coins, and is the title of the Sealandic anthem. The anthem was composed by Londoner Basil Simonenko; it does not have lyrics.


Sealand has been involved in several commercial operations, including the issuing of coins and postage stamps and the establishment of an offshore Internet hosting facility, or "data haven". Sealand also has an official website and publishes an online newspaper, Sealand News. In addition, a number of amateur athletes "represent" Sealand in sporting events, including unconventional events like the egg throwing world championship, which the Sealand team won in 2008. According to Sealand News, a movie called Sealand is in development for release in 2012. As of 11 February 2007, Sealand is also taking bookings for tourist visits. For a period, Sealand camouflage passport
Camouflage passport
A camouflage passport is a passport issued in the name of a non-existent country that is intended to look like a real country’s passport.Such passports are also often sold with several matching documents, including an international driver’s license and similar supporting identity papers.Camouflage...

s were mass-manufactured and sold widely by a Spanish-based group believed to be associated with the "exile government" under Seiger. These passports, which the Bates family say were not authorized by them, were linked to several high-profile crimes. All passports were revoked by Roy Bates in 1997.

There was a 2007 census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, which was published in early 2008 that can be found here

After HavenCo
HavenCo Limited was a data haven, data hosting services company, founded in 2000 which operated from Sealand, self-declared 'sovereign principality' that occupies a man-made former World War II defensive facility originally known as Roughs Tower located approximately six miles from the coast of...

 unexpected collapse, Sealand's government is in the process of building a new online casino. The casino is expected to be opened by the end of 2012, and would employ about 30 employees all of whom would work in Sealand. However Sealand Casino would not potentially be able to expanded due to Sealand's smaller size.


After the 2006 fire, both towers were gutted and still to this day all that is left are a few lights and loose wires. However the platform has been completely redone, with railings, floors and underpadding to keep birds from nesting under the platform (finish early 2007). The building has been completely remodeled and expanded, this includes a new roof/helicopter pad with new directing lights and a solar system. The building includes a two bedroom one bathroom, kitchen, living room, Royal Palace , and a one bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, employees' suite. The building also has a one room chapel, public bathroom, security office, Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 office/rec room, small store, and the office of the Bureau of Domestic and International Affairs (finish late 2007). Then in mid 2008 a new generator was replaced with two new life boats, pulley system and a repair job on the artillery gun.

Coins and stamps

Several dozen different Sealand coins have been minted since 1972. In the early 1990s, Achenbach's German group also produced a coin, featuring a likeness of "Prime Minister Seiger". Sealand's coins and postage stamps are denominated in "Sealand dollars", which it deems to be at parity
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 with the U.S. dollar. Sealand first issued postage stamp
Postage stamp
A postage stamp is a small piece of paper that is purchased and displayed on an item of mail as evidence of payment of postage. Typically, stamps are made from special paper, with a national designation and denomination on the face, and a gum adhesive on the reverse side...

s in 1969, and issues through 1977. No further stamps were produced until 2010. Sealand is not a member of the Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
The Universal Postal Union is an international organization that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration , the Postal Operations Council and the...

, therefore its inward address is a PO Box in the United Kingdom. Once it is mailed to Sealand's tourist and government office it will then be brought to Sealand, Sealand only has one street address The Row.

A Sealand mailing address looks like this

Bureau of Internal Affairs
5, The Row
(c/o Sealand Post Bag, IP11 9SZ, UK)

Sealand noble titles

In recent years the Principality of Sealand has been selling the titles of Lord, Lady, Baron and Baroness through its website at


In 2000, worldwide publicity was created about Sealand following the establishment of a new entity called HavenCo
HavenCo Limited was a data haven, data hosting services company, founded in 2000 which operated from Sealand, self-declared 'sovereign principality' that occupies a man-made former World War II defensive facility originally known as Roughs Tower located approximately six miles from the coast of...

, a data haven
Data haven
A data haven, like a corporate haven or tax haven, is a refuge for uninterrupted or unregulated data. Data havens are locations with legal environments that are friendly to the concept of a computer network freely holding data and even protecting its content and associated information...

, which effectively took control of Roughs Tower itself; however, Ryan Lackey
Ryan Lackey
Ryan Donald Lackey is an entrepreneur and computer security professional. He was a co-founder of HavenCo, the world's first data haven...

, HavenCo's founder, later quit and claimed that Bates had lied to him by keeping the 1990–1991 court case from him and that, as a result, he had lost the money he had invested in the venture. In November 2008, operations of HavenCo ceased without explanation.


Sealand has official national athletes, including non-Sealanders. These athletes take part in various sports, such as mini-golf
Miniature golf
Miniature golf, or minigolf, is a miniature version of the sport of golf. While the international sports organization World Minigolf Sport Federation prefers to use the name "minigolf", the general public in different countries has also many other names for the game: miniature golf, mini-golf,...

, football, fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

, and table football
Subbuteo is a set of table top games simulating team sports such as association football, cricket, both codes of rugby and hockey. The name is most closely associated with the football game, which for many years was marketed as "the replica of Association Football".The "Subbuteo" name is derived...

, although Sealand's fencing team competes out of the country. Sealand is a provisional member of the Nouvelle Fédération-Board
Nouvelle Fédération-Board
The N.F.-Board , unofficially Non-FIFA-Board, is a football association established on 12 December 2003. It is made up of teams that represent nations, dependencies, unrecognized states, minorities, stateless peoples, regions and micronations not affiliated to FIFA...

, a football sanctioning body for non-recognised states and states not members of FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...


Sealand claims that its first official athlete was Darren Blackburn of Oakville, Ontario
Oakville, Ontario
Oakville is a town in Halton Region, on Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada, and is part of the Greater Toronto Area. As of the 2006 census the population was 165,613.-History:In 1793, Dundas Street was surveyed for a military road...

, Canada, who was appointed in 2003. Blackburn has represented Sealand at a number of local sporting events, including marathons and off-trail races. Sealand's official U-20 National Football team is coached by American high school soccer coach Rory Miller and is mostly composed of players from his current and recent past roster at Muhlenberg North High School in Greenville, Kentucky
Greenville, Kentucky
Greenville is a city in and the county seat of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, United States. It is named for Revolutionary War General Nathan Greene...

. In 2004, mountaineer
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

 Slader Oviatt carried the Sealandic flag to the top of Muztagh Ata
Muztagh Ata
Muztagh Ata, or Muztagata , is the second highest of the mountains which form the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau . It is sometimes regarded as being part of the Kunlun Shan, although physically it is more closely connected to the Pamirs...

. Since 16 December 2007, the Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

-based airsoft
Airsoft is a sport in which participants shoot round non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms.Gameplay varies in style and composition but often range from short-term skirmishes, organized scenarios, military simulations, historical reenactments, to competition target shooting events...

 team SART (Sheffield Armed Response Team) represents the Principality at airsoft games as its national team. Also in 2007, Michael Martelle represented the Principality of Sealand in the World Cup of Kung Fu, held in Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, Canada; bearing the designation of Athleta Principalitas Bellatorius (Principal Martial Arts Athlete and Champion), Martelle won two silver medals, becoming the first-ever Sealand athlete to appear on a world championship podium.

Sealand is also represented at the Destination ImagiNation
Destination ImagiNation
Destination ImagiNation Inc. or DI is a creative problem solving organization for youth and adults. Destination ImagiNation's educational goals are to foster creative and critical thinking, to develop teamwork, collaboration and leadership skills, and to nurture research and inquiry skills...

 Global Finals by the team from Dobbs Ferry High School in Dobbs Ferry, New York
Dobbs Ferry, New York
Dobbs Ferry is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 10,875 at the 2010 census.The Village of Dobbs Ferry is located in, and is a part of, the town of Greenburgh...

. The team members carried the Sealand flag in the 2007 DI Global Finals Opening Ceremony and plan to do so again at the 2008 event.

In 2008, Sealand hosted a skateboarding event with Church and East Ltd sponsored by Red Bull
Red Bull GmbH
Red Bull GmbH is an Austrian company which sells the Red Bull energy drink. In 2010, more than 4.204 billion cans were sold in over 161 countries. 7,758 employees generated 3.78 billion euros in revenue...

. Sealand's fencing team is located in the United States, affiliated with the University of California, Irvine
University of California, Irvine
The University of California, Irvine , founded in 1965, is one of the ten campuses of the University of California, located in Irvine, California, USA...

. In 2009, Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

 announced the formation of a Football Association and their intention to compete in a future Viva World Cup
Viva World Cup
The VIVA World Cup is an international football tournament organized by the New Federation Board, an umbrella association for nations unaffiliated with FIFA, planned to be held every two years.-Inauguration:...

. Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 Neil Forsyth was appointed as inaugural President of the Sealand
The Principality of Sealand is an unrecognized entity, located on HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea 10 km off the coast of Suffolk, England, United Kingdom ....

 Football Association.

See also

  • Data haven
    Data haven
    A data haven, like a corporate haven or tax haven, is a refuge for uninterrupted or unregulated data. Data havens are locations with legal environments that are friendly to the concept of a computer network freely holding data and even protecting its content and associated information...

  • Private island
    Private island
    A private island is a disconnected body of land wholly owned by a single private citizen or corporation. Although this exclusivity gives the owner substantial control over the property, they still fall within the jurisdiction of national and sometimes local governments.-Ownership:There are many...

  • Ocean colonization
    Ocean colonization
    Ocean colonization is the theory and practice of permanent human settlement of oceans. Such settlements may float on the surface of the water, or be secured to the ocean floor, or exist in an intermediate position....

Further reading

  • Garfinkel, Simson. "Welcome to Sealand. Now Bugger Off". Wired Magazine. July 2000. Vol. 8.07.
  • Gilmour, Kim. "Sealand: Wish You Were Here?" Internet Magazine. August 2002.
  • Lackey, Ryan. "Haven Company: What Really Happened". Address at Defcon 11. Las Vegas, 3 August 2003.
  • Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt. "Republics of the Reefs": Nation-Building on the Continental Shelf and in the World's Oceans". California Western International Law Journal, vol. 25, no. 1. Fall 1994.
  • Miller, Marjorie, & Boudreaux, Richard. "A Nation for Friend and Faux". Los Angeles Times. 7 June 2000. p. A-1.
  • Slapper, Gary. "How a law-less 'data haven' is using law to protect itself". The Times
    The Times
    The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

    . 8 August 2000. p. 3.
  • "Stop signs on the web; The battle between freedom and regulation on the Internet". The Economist
    The Economist
    The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

    . 13 January 2001. p1.
  • Strauss, Erwin S. How to Start Your Own Country, 2nd ed. Port Townsend, WA: Breakout Productions, 1984. ISBN 1-893626-15-6.
  • Connelly, Charlie. Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast, Abacus, 2005. ISBN 0-349-11603-2.
  • Goldsmith, Jack
    Jack Goldsmith
    Jack Landman Goldsmith is a Harvard Law School professor who has written a number of texts regarding international law, cyber law, and national security law...

    , & Wu, Tim
    Tim Wu
    Tim Wu is a professor at Columbia Law School, the former chair of media reform group Free Press, and a writer for Slate Magazine. He is also a former Bernard L. Schwartz and Future Tense fellow at The New America Foundation...

    . Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World, 2006, ISBN 0-19-515266-2.
  • Fogle, Ben. Offshore: In search of an island of my own, Penguin Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-14-102434-9.
  • "License Plates of Sealand (Great Britain)." LICENSE PLATES OF THE WORLD. Web. 28 December 2009.
  • Conroy, Matthew. "Sealand -- The Next New Haven?" Suffolk Transnational Law Review, vol. 25, no. 1. Winter 2003.

External links

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