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Old 05-11-2010, 13:03   #31
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i hear there are other options besides locking the valve. like removing the handle .. either from the valve or the thru hull. also you can use plastic ties to secure the handle. my 3 way does not have a way to padlock. am i correct?
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Old 05-11-2010, 13:38   #32
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wow! you guys are running armed anti-poop patrols
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Old 05-11-2010, 13:44   #33
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As to the Y-Valves, most all of the MSD laws talk to "locking" the Y-Valve so that all discharge goes to the holding tank. Originally that was worded as "locked" with a padlock but since the greatest number of Y-valves on the market had no provisions for "locking" the wording was relaxed to included other methods to prevent accidental or intentional moving of the Y-valve back to overboard discharge.
- - California was a leader in this area and Catalina Island anchorages were actively patrolled daily by the "potty police". They board the vessels anchored or moored and inspected the Y-Valve and then dropped the "dye tablet" into the MSD and flushed it. Each day they only had to look around the anchorage areas for any bright dye in the waters to prove your guilt. It seems that other States have been adopting the "dye tablet" technique which when you think of it, is pretty much foolproof.

- - On the subject of police misconduct, I would be hard pressed to say that such incidences within the USA are even close to the severity of such things in other countries. Imagine the incident but in Venezuela or Panama or any other country where just mouthing off to an officer can get you bleeding in a concrete cell without benefit of medical treatment, etc.
- - It all goes back to the principle of exhibiting polite deference to officials be they customs/immigration or constables, marshalls, police or military. Every now and then your "number" comes up and such incidents become part of your life.
- - For instance, when crossing the Gulf Stream to/from the Bahamas, especially at night, I make sure I have a functional VHF at the helm and all the folks on the boat are briefed that if a million-watt light suddenly illuminates the boat, nobody moves, nobody goes below, nobody comes up from below. The USCG or DEA or Customs boat will contact you and quiz you on all your documentation, ports of call and destination, etc. All that information needs to be at your fingertips - I have placards at the helm with all the documentation numbers, customs decal numbers, dates of birth, home address, etc. "They" are watching you through powerful binoculars and if anybody does anything/moves they have established "probable cause" and the boarding will not be so friendly. Over the years I have noticed that if they can get all your information and it checks out with the various databases, then they will wish you a pleasant crossing and move to another boat.
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Old 05-11-2010, 13:45   #34
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Forgive me if this information was on a previous post but the rules are very clear.

Here is the information as posted under CFR 159.7. These rules apply to ICW and note that the rules not only apply to the Y-Valve, BUT the seacock should also be locked in the closed position. So you could have your Y-valve locked and if your seacock is not, you could receive a citation. The bolding is mine. Chuck

(b) When operating a vessel on a body of water where the discharge of treated or untreated sewage is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 140.3 or 140.4, the operator must secure each Type I or Type II device in a manner which prevents discharge of treated or untreated sewage. Acceptable methods of securing the device include—
(1) Closing the seacock and removing the handle;
(2) Padlocking the seacock in the closed position;
(3) Using a non-releasable wire-tie to hold the seacock in the closed position; or
(4) Locking the door to the space enclosing the toilets with a padlock or door handle key lock.


(c) When operating a vessel on a body of water where the discharge of untreated sewage is prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 140.3, the operator must secure each Type III device in a manner which prevents discharge of sewage. Acceptable methods of securing the device include—
(1) Closing each valve leading to an overboard discharge and removing the handle;
(2) Padlocking each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position; or
(3) Using a non-releasable wire-tie to hold each valve leading to an overboard discharge in the closed position.
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Old 05-11-2010, 14:20   #35
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Waterwayguy, while you are absolutely correct, this is the rule, in my not so humble opinion it is one of the most stupid government rules ever forced upon us by the US government. Obviously it was developed by someone who has never opened a sea cock or tried to force a y valve from one position to another. The idea that they could accidentally open is pretty ludicrous. To dump the holding tank overboard on my boat I have to open two valves and then pump the waste over a loop before it goes overboard. The absolutely least inconvienient thing I have to do to dump my holding tank is is cut the cable tie holding the sea cock handle in the closed position. Cost is not much of an issue either, I bought a canister of 600 for $7. If I wanted to break the law I could cut the tie, dump my tank and put on a new tie in about 4 minutes any time the law wasn't around. I suspect that this was a law passed to give law enforcement an excuse to search below decks, not to prevent pollution.
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Old 05-11-2010, 14:38   #36
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WOW UWOA -You are a piece of work. From the sound of it you could be a trainer for the Volusia County Sheriff Dept. Shoot first, plan for the questions later mentality.
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Old 05-11-2010, 14:48   #37
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Seriously folks, as traumatic as this was for the boater in question, it could have been much worse. Listen carefully to what UWOA is saying. Every law enforcement official you come in contact with is quietly formulating a plan to kill you if things go south. UWOA is not exaggerating. This is how these knuckleheads are trained from the local cops all the way up to the Feds.

The guy that went below could very well have been shot during this incident and I will guarantee you that the officer would have been found to be justified due to the "perceived" threat. Just look at how the PIO wrote up what did actually happen. Until we can get some sanity restored to law enforcement powers in the US, you really do need to do EXACTLY as they say or risk being shot.

If you think this is messed up, AND YOU SHOULD, then start calling/e-mailing your representatives and senators about the sorry state of civil liberties in this country in the post 9/11 - Patriot Act era. But do not attempt to reason with the officer on the scene. He is going to stick strictly to his training and follow right along the force continuum until his gun goes bang. You can't even blame them really. They are doing exactly what our government has trained them to do. We are a long way from the days of Andy Griffith.
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Old 05-11-2010, 14:50   #38
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Inkwell, that is not nice or relevant - most law enforcement officials in the USA are light years ahead of such folks in other countries. I would surmise, even after having numerous "not nice" encounters with a few "bad apples" or "zealots," that the vast majority are just trying to do a good job.
- - Like every other professionals in the USA the stack of paperwork and reams of laws and rules about this, that and everything can really get to you when all you want to do is "protect the public." I would surmise that trainers and instructors try to do a thorough job preparing the officers to handle normal and abnormal situations. But some officers fall through the cracks and we get "bad apples" - something that has never been eliminated in any profession.
- - And of course, the smart, polite, professional officers never makes the news stories. So since such occurrences cannot or will not ever be totally eliminated, it is wise to prepare yourself to minimize/defuse any potential situation to the best of your ability. I have on many occasions seen other officers who are physically behind the "bad apple" shake their heads and try to non-verbally apologize for the problems the "bad apple" is causing. But like every other profession I think the "Peter Principle" also applies to law enforcement.
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Old 05-11-2010, 14:52   #39
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And oh yeah, it doesn't make me feel any better to know that we aren't as bad off as Panama or Venezuela. The US is supposed to be a leader in civil rights. I think the founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they knew the sorry state of liberty in this country.
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Old 05-11-2010, 14:53   #40
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I THINK THIS IS JUST GREAT!!!

My past posts that condemned BIG BROTHER for needlessly impossing no dischage zones were pummeled by so many here in the forums.

But arguments quickly change when THEIR goat gets gored. Sure, the theme of this thread is the intercoastal but the MAJOR topic in the theme is BIG BROTHER!!!!

Tough!

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Old 05-11-2010, 15:05   #41
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Whatever occurred on that boat, it was just plain bad policework to storm on board SWAT-style. There is a time and place for that. And there's a time and place for courtesy. An MSD inspection can be done courteously, even humorously. The police too often alienate the public by threatening normal law-abiding folks -- who are ON THEIR SIDE.
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Old 05-11-2010, 15:08   #42
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I don't agree with anything that's been said here. First of all, the PIO (Public Information Officer) from the sheriff's department is entirely correct ... the law is well settled in this regard and, due to the mobility of the watercraft, the officers may board without permission (Carrol v. United States, et sup.). Furthermore, both accounts (from the vessel captain's statements and the PIO's depiction of events) indicate that the crew did not fully comply with the officer's directions. When you consider that historically this could have been a prelude to the destruction of evidence or the arming of an individual, the officer acted prudently by drawing his weapon ... remember -- the crew member started this chain of events by going below and out of sight.

I've had the misfortune to lose two fellow police officers from my department, guys I worked closely with, because they came in contact with an armed felon responding to something that seemed innocent on its face. Unfortunately, unless you've been there you don't realize the potential for harm because "you're not like that." Since this was a 'stranger on stranger' contact (neither the vessel nor its occupants were known to the officers) they have to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

As I've said to my police trainees (I'm certified as a Master Instructor for the State of Indiana in law enforcement training and a graduate of the FBI National Academy), "You treat everybody like a million bucks ... but you always have a plan to kill them (if things go sour)." THAT is the world we live in, not the 'Leave It To Beaver' ideation of the fifties that a lot of civilians, including some here, live in.

Just my two cents .....
This is a considered and well-reasoned point of view, but I have to object, and I have to disagree with the interpretation of the events.

The beef all of us have with this is NOT the fact that the boat was boarded. I think we all know that law enforcement agents have the right to board us.

This is a red herring. What we object to -- and we are very right to object to it -- is the rudeness and wholly disproportionate force used. So what if some aspect of instructions were not fully complied with -- that does not justify pointing loaded weapons and treating those people that way.

In a civilian context, pointing a loaded weapon is assault. It is a very serious crime if carried out by a civilian. A law enforcement officer has no excuse in the world committing an assault against an innocent civilian unless he is in reasonable fear of his life. There is not a single hint of any fact that might create even a shadow of a doubt that the officers had any reason to be in fear of their lives. They were simply being nasty and repressive and totally abusing the authority entrusted to them.

If I were still practicing law and if I were local to this, I would sue their a*sses off. An absolutely outrageous way to behave. Outrageous, and shameful.
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Old 05-11-2010, 15:12   #43
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wow! you guys are running armed anti-poop patrols
I guess Jerseys immigration officers aren't that bad afterall. At least he didn't draw a gun when our dog put paw prints all over his nice clean shirt

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Old 05-11-2010, 15:12   #44
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wow! you guys are running armed anti-poop patrols
Take a step or two back from this and you realize the total madness of the whole situation. How the foreigners must be laughing at us. And they are right.
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Old 05-11-2010, 15:12   #45
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Well put, Foggysail - but when have CF threads ever stayed on topic?
- - To me the value of the report on the MSD incident in the ICW is to simply alert real cruisers and potential cruisers that life on a cruising boat is not all peaches and cream. There will be bad times and sometimes downright obnoxious and illogical instances. In order to maximize the "good times" cruising is it important to put things in perspective and more importantly prepare yourself to deal with stupid, ignorant and sometimes downright nasty officials. Wishing for a just or civil world is wonderful, just not very realistic.
- - There are quite a few cruisers who do sail away to get away from the illogic and insanity they perceive running rampant back "home" only to find out that it also exists elsewhere.
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