The United States has for many years had a policy of granting political asylum to deserving refugees and defectors. On 23 November 1970, however, a Lithuanian seaman, Simas Ionovich Kudirka, attempted to defect to the United States via the Coast Guard cutter "Vigilant," and his request for asylum was denied. He was forcibly returned to his ship, the "Sovietskaya Litva," within the territorial waters of the United States.
Mann, Clyde R.
"Asylum Denied: The Vigilant Incident,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 24
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol24/iss5/3