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Old 17-10-2015, 09:12   #31
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

The reason they wear their boots is so they can tuck their pant legs into them. That way they can walk ashore without getting their pants wet. Deep water Navy.
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Old 17-10-2015, 09:21   #32
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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... thanks - I thought it might be a rhetorical question. I once was boarded from German customs on an old racing yacht. When they wanted to search the boat I asked them to take off their boots because of the varnished floorboards and they did without arguing or giving me a hard time.



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Germany is a different custom, for instance you don't wear shoes in a house, ever. Go to someones house and you always remove your shoes.
Now someone else will say this isn't true, but my three years in Germany that is the way it was


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Old 17-10-2015, 09:25   #33
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I have been a LEO for well over 30 years. One of the comments basically said they should be out chasing real criminals. Ah.... Perhaps we should post pictures of just what exactly a real criminal looks like and exactly what kind of boat they are in so we don't bother the good citizens of Gotham. Having these pictures in hand would certainly cut out a lot of useless time of searching the wrong vessels not alone the inconvenience it has caused the crew and passengers.


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Old 17-10-2015, 09:26   #34
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I was boarded twice in one year in California during the zero-tolerance BS. The first time we had just departed the boat yard with a brand new LP paint job and the idiots came ramming their Rib into our side while I was trying to put out fenders. The guy on the rib yelled at me to step away or he would use force to board us! What BS...18 yo kids with side arms given such authority while their skipper sips coffee on the bridge of the cutter and laughs.

We refer to them as water nazis still to this day.
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Old 17-10-2015, 09:34   #35
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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I have been a LEO for well over 30 years. One of the comments basically said they should be out chasing real criminals. Ah.... Perhaps we should post pictures of just what exactly a real criminal looks like and exactly what kind of boat they are in so we don't bother the good citizens of Gotham. Having these pictures in hand would certainly cut out a lot of useless time of searching the wrong vessels not alone the inconvenience it has caused the crew and passengers.


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Poesch6, thank you for your service. We all like to be safe and free from criminal acts. I thank you and all the other law enforcement officers who put themselves at risk every time they go out in order to keep us safe. I'm happy to cooperate in every way I can.


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Old 17-10-2015, 09:47   #36
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Man oh man, do I hesitate to weigh in on this. I'm ambivalent about our Coast Guard because I view them as different components. First, there is the Coast Guard that is highly trained to go out in all weather in surf boats, helicopters, weather ships,etc. That part I have the utmost regard for . Then there are the undertrained boarders who have damaged my boats through their ineptitude, outright lied in their logs and reports to cover their asses. I think that there must be two different training facilities the CG uses. I wish they would run them through Navy boot camp. At least then, they would be properly trained in seamanship. You can't simply throw the same blanket over the entire organization, but I ,personally, could write a book based upon MY encounters. Here at PAFB, are many retired coastie and with no pissing contests, we compare notes about this subject. Blame the DEA on the sea change that came over the CG's policy as to boarding yacht in the early '70's. That, and their greed and arrgance. My 2 cents; my personal opinion. No offense intended.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:05   #37
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Pretty disappointing to read these posts. As a newb, I still have foolish visions of total freedom under sail.

BUT, with all the druggies in America, they have to do what they can.
As long as the "war on drugs" is in effect, I think it will only get worse.

Having said all that, I am very grateful for the sacrifices these people make to ensure the safety of sailors and all people on the water.

"No greater love..." and all that.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:05   #38
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

As the parent of a now retired Coast Guard flight officer, I can tell you, Coasties generally speaking are on the front lines most of the time. It's true they are not facing an organized army, but think about the risks they take not knowing if they will be greeted by some drugged up psychopath with a machine gun when they step on a vessel. Every day has several new threats for these folks. Also it's different from land bound police because you cant dive behind a car or something when everything goes South!
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:13   #39
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I am sorry that a few of the CF members have a had problems with the USCG doing their for doing their jobs. I have always found that if you meet them with an understanding attitude everyone comes out ahead. Understand a lot of the time when you are boarded at sea, someone at the last port you were in has called your boat in as a diversion, and the CG crew have to follow orders, and check you out. As for what the crew wears, includes those boot are for their protection along with BP Vests and Life Vests, so take it easy on them, as they do not like to upset you any more than you like to up set them , because thing can get VERY difficult all around... I Know as I have boarded and been boarded. Good Sailing ALL.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:14   #40
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

We have never been boarded by the USCG but I expect it to happen one of these days. Many of my friends have, some more than once. I have heard of bad experiences but those have always been third-hand since none of the people I have talked to have had it happen.

We were boarded by the French Navy in the Marquesas. They went through the anchorage on their ribs. They had on shorts with no shoes but with pistols on their hips. Very polite and professional and friendly. Also boarded in Vanuatu and the same there.

I don't really expect the USCG to take off their boots if they come aboard but I do expect them to be clean. I think I would ask them to clean them if they weren't. But otherwise I would be entirely welcoming. I don't really like it that they can board without "cause" because they really do have "cause". They are charged with inspecting boats for safety equipment and environmental protection. I realize that some of you don't want anyone to set any requirements on you about either of those. That's your opinion but I am OK with them doing that. I do have a big problem with the zero-tolerance drug interdiction policies. I don't like it.

But boats have always been used for smuggling. Long history of that - since boats first came in to being actually. And there is a long history of countries inspecting boats to manage that. I am a libertarian when it comes to privacy and the right to be left alone. But it isn't going to happen on the high seas. I understand that. It is something I have to just accept. Ain't goin' to change it so just have to deal with it. See the poem Desiderata.

I totally support the USCG for all the good things they do. I don't think they like being drug policemen at all. Just the way it is.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:22   #41
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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I agree, however if the law was changed to exclude private yachts, do you think that the bad guys might make use of that loophole?


If you know they are bad guys you have probable cause.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:24   #42
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

No 2nd or 3rd hand info here. Just personal 1st hand experience.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:25   #43
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I was boarded by the USCG when they came to rescue me. I was drifting in the channel in Frenchman's Bay, with the tide, and no wind and an ethanol breakdown in the motor.

They went over everything that was supposed to be on the boat. I was very very friendly with them and answered every question. All my papers were in order and in a place where I could get them quickly, and I had all the safety equipment I was required to have.

They were very nice. If they came again, I would offer any help they needed to assist in dealing with my boat. I took the USCG Aux course so I knew exactly what they needed.

If they have to chase you down, it will not make them happy. They have a tough job to do and they do the best they can. Sailors need to treat them with respect and friendliness, since you never know when you might need their help if very very difficult conditions.
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Old 17-10-2015, 10:54   #44
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Hi Mike, the CCG certainly has no right to board your vessel without an invitation unless you are in the process of committing a Federal Crime, specifically related to pollution of the marine environment or contradiction of the Fisheries Act. They certainly would not attempt it without significant evidence. Under law, CCG personnel are Public Officers, not Peace Officers, as such have no powers of arrest beyond that of civilians unless operating under the authority of a Fisheries officer or other peace officer.

The RCMP is of course restrained by the charter of rights and freedoms, which protects all Canadian citizens from the right to arbitrary search and seizure.

The normal rules apply, if evidence suggests a crime is in progress or elicit items are in plain view they can search.
Thanks FV, that's what I thought. From similar discussions I've learned that our American friends can be arbitrarily stopped and searched on the water; no probable cause is required. Apparently their 4th amendment rights don't apply on the water, or there is some sort of CG exception ... I dunno. Anyway, it's good to see Canadian authorities still have to have at least a minimal pretext to stop and search its citizens.

Yes ... Canadians, VOTE!
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Old 17-10-2015, 11:04   #45
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

This a tough subject. I am Canadian and I struggle to understand how the USCG operating in international waters swabing people for drugs in the middle of the night can be considered ok. If the boat is in US waters ok I get it.
The folks on board where lucky that there was no dope on the seat of the last Caribbean dollar bus they were in.
I met a former USCG member, who had resigned when the law enforcement side of the job was pushed to the for front .
I wonder how effective this strategy really is.
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