This article provides a basis for future discussion regarding the imprecise interactions between international law, law of the sea, human rights and humanitarian law which are, together with a serious legal lacuna, the reasons of the inefficiency of the Search and Rescue system. It achieves this by identifying the moltitude of international Conventions and other legal instruments which a myriad of actors apply in the SAR context. The debate is about the reconciliation of humanitarian aspirations with the migrant burden and the sovereign right of States to control their borders. Member States point the finger at each other in determining who has to intervene in the overlapping SAR zones. An effective system of burden sharing among Member States could pave the way for the disembarkation procedures.