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Old 17-10-2015, 16:08   #76
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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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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Yes, being born there and still having many relatives living there, yes you're wrong about shoes being taken off. Fact is it is exactly the opposite which I was shocked to find out when I first went back as an adult.

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Old 17-10-2015, 16:17   #77
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

"For example, what is the definition of such a vague term as "unreasonable"? You have to consult the case law for how the courts have interpreted that term." Belizesailor


Exactly and a very frightening thought with the likes of Ginzburg, Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor on the bench. Our government was established under a tripartite system with the legislative, executive and judicial branches, in unison, controlling the direction of our country as based upon the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It was never the intent of our Founding Fathers to allow one sector to write law as has been the case with our current Judiciary. Unreasonable? The concept of this term changes daily and as has been seen recently has some frightening outcomes. The USCG was never intended to be an offshore commando group indiscriminately boarding US recreational vessels at sea however, it appears their function has morphed into this reality. As our civilization declines, the Shaman becomes King.
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:21   #78
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post


Exactly and a very frightening thought with the likes of Ginzburg, Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor on the bench.
You missed the other five, who, some would say, create more havoc than these four.
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:24   #79
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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You missed the other five, who, some would say, create more havoc than these four.

Geez Stu,
I guess I know what side of the river you're on. I hope you don't get stopped by the Coasties going the wrong way!
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:40   #80
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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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.
Because:
  • If your a US flagged vessel, they have world wide jurisdiction. Note, it is your vessel's status that is important, not your nationality. As a Canadian, with a US flagged boat, I am subject to that rule.

And
  • If your a foreign flagged vessel, but they have an agreement with your government, they can also board you, worldwide.

They have a LOT of agreements with foreign governments.
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:47   #81
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Because:
  • If your a US flagged vessel, they have world wide jurisdiction. Note, it is your vessel's status that is important, not your nationality. As a Canadian, with a US flagged boat, I am subject to that rule.

And
  • If your a foreign flagged vessel, but they have an agreement with your government, they can also board you, worldwide.

They have a LOT of agreements with foreign governments.
ok that's the boarding bit

What about the swabbing bit And if they can drug test you anywhere because your a US vessel can they take finger prints? DNA?
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:49   #82
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Geez Stu,
I guess I know what side of the river you're on. I hope you don't get stopped by the Coasties going the wrong way!
Nope, just that I can count without being obvious about any potential proclivities.
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Old 17-10-2015, 16:52   #83
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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ok that's the boarding bit

What about the swabbing bit And if they can drug test you anywhere because your a US vessel can they take finger prints? DNA?
I'm enjoying your drug testing line. In Canada, the CCG can't even test its own Coast Guard sailors for drug use because it would be an infringement on their constitutional rights and privacy laws.

I don't care what the USCG does with US citizens, but I do find the US war on drugs entertaining.

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Old 17-10-2015, 17:20   #84
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

A number of posts have been deleted for being political, off topic or responding to the same.

Let's make a concerted effort at keeping on topic. Valuable information is being presented in this thread for education of us all, so let's not sidetrack it into other areas.

Thanks!
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Old 17-10-2015, 18:05   #85
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I was active duty Coast Guard for 30 years. Boardings has always been a less than popular event for those doing the boarding and those receiving the boarding. While most boarding officers/boarding teams are very polite and professional, some need a bit more polishing. And though it doesn't excuse bad behavior, we to sometimes have bad days or put in difficult situations.
Regarding boaters "rights", yes, you do not have the same rights as you do in your car. Neither do pilots, airplane owners, Federal Firearm License holders and many, many others. If you are sensative about boardings, I would suggest not going into other countries territorial waters as many foreign agencies are sometimes not as considerate of your boat or your rights.
Be safe.
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Old 17-10-2015, 19:35   #86
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Since the early '80s, the Coast Guard, which is a division of the Department of Transportation and the primary maritime law enforcement agency of the United States, has been engaged in missions specifically to intercept drug smugglers on coastal waters. Under federal law, the Coast Guard's mandate includes arresting traffickers even if they are on the high seas--that is, far outside any country's territorial boundaries. Toward this effort the United States has cooperative agreements with many other nations to intercept drug activity. And several U.S. federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Customs Service, are charged with monitoring possible drug trafficking far outside our borders. In this case, the trawler SvesdaMaru raised suspicions of a customs' plane when it appeared to be a fishing vessel that lacked operable fishing equipment. A Navy frigate was then sent to investigate. Because Defense personnel are prohibited from directly engaging in law enforcement activities, the ship had on it a Coast Guard law enforcement detachment. When a suspicious vessel is identified at sea, the Coast Guard notifies the State Department, which then gets permission from the vessel's flag nation for the Coast Guard to board. (In the rare instances when permission is denied, the Coast Guard will generally monitor the vessel as it approaches U.S. territory.) In this case, the Coast Guard boarded the SvesdaMaru and spent five days searching for drugs, which they eventually discovered in the space below the fishing holds. The trawler was brought to San Diego and the Russian and Ukrainian crew was jailed on drug smuggling charges.
This still does not give them the right to stop and board without provocation.
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Old 17-10-2015, 20:37   #87
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

With regards to post 62; My boat is a house and is declared so, not by me, but by the US government. The US Internal Revenue Service states that any recreational vessel with sleeping quarters toilet and shower facilities, and cooking facilities is a house. It's a little inconsistent that one agency says it's a house and another agency does recognize that as a fact.

I agree current case law does allow the USCG to board private recreational vessels without cause. That does not mean I have to agree with that case law. I think the reason the second amendment is so well defended is that there are lots of gun owners and a well funded lobbying group. Face it, there are just not that many people living on boats and we don't have enough money to fund a lobbying group. Since we have the best government that money can buy and we have no money, nothing will change. The US congress does almost nothing because it is the right thing to do, but what it is paid to do.

With regards to 4th amendment exceptions for cars they are actually only in very specific circumstances and do not allow random no probable cause searches.

It is a bit ironic that a cardboard box on public land that someone is living is considered by the courts to be a house and requires probable cause and a search warrant but a boat already declared to be a house by a US government agency is not.
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Old 17-10-2015, 21:45   #88
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

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Good thing your following what I post so closely, my mission is successful, be sure to subscribe as well! . I hope you bring cookies and good manners when your approached at sea. And FYI we did have the M1A ready and they saw it. The coast guard understood our concern completely, and were not bothered by the fact we were ready to defend ourselves at 4am in the middle of no where. Jokes on you.
I have been boarded on many occasions in Europe by Both British and French authorities, which are mostly customs based rather than yet another arm of the military. They too arrived by RIB and asked to come aboard but it would have been churlish to refuse. The French 'Douanes' were armed and did a full search even though we had passed by them on our way out of harbour an hour earlier and by the time they actually boarded were outside of the 12 mile limit. one looked in lockers and the fridge/freezer below whilst the others stayed in the cockpit whilst examining our papers and asking us 'casual' questions all of which could be answered by looking at our papers, so I assume that was some intelligently applied checking on their part ( such as where was our boat from, where do we live, how long have we owned it etc...) They also studied and asked questions about our Ship's Log. They called in my wife's passport number for a check with their shorebased records as she is American ( but otherwise perfect)

The British boardings were much the same but inside UK waters.

WE had many visits when in harbours too, no different except arriving on foot instead of by RIB.

In all case nothing to worry about. NO poop tank police checks nor safety gear checks as not required there, and poop so far is neither dutiable nor smokeable.

Unlike it seems In the USA we 'others' are more pragmatic about such boardings and treat them as a normal part of the cruising life, not as being a direct challenge to our citizen's rights or manhood.

NO BIG DEAL at all unless you have a boatload of illegal immigrants or drugs in which case expect to lose everything including the boat and especially your liberty, And certainly in most European waters it would not be a good idea to have guns on board unless you really fancy trying prison food.
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Old 17-10-2015, 23:41   #89
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

I've been on containerships during "random" boardings.

Once boarded by the USCG, (not long after 9/11), going between Seattle and Oakland, offshore, under way, middle of the night. We were really surprised to see 4 or 5 guys come down to the engine room, with automatic weapons, kevlar vests, and full survival suits. They were way out of their element, but polite, and sweating profusely in the 110 deg F engine room. We offered them beverages and put some seats underneath a blower for them.


Another time, boarded after midnight at the pilot station at Port Angeles,WA, for the very first random drug test on the West Coast. Two nurses had been hired to perform the tests. They were not trained seafarers, and one of them froze on the pilot ladder on her way up to the main deck, (mind you, this was under way at night). She had to be rescued from the pilot ladder. The CG was risking their own civilian contractor's lives. All this to save us from a non-existant drug problem.


I know there are true heros in the CG; but these two boardings, and other experiences as well, have not impressed me.
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Old 17-10-2015, 23:55   #90
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Re: U.S. Coast Guard boarding experience (not typical i dont think)

Boardings are a difficult circumstance, but they law regarding them evolved from Admiralty Law, not from terrestrial case law.

If you're in U.S. Territorial waters, the USCG has the right to board and inspect for any reason.

If you're U.S. flagged anywhere in the world, the USCG has the right to board and inspect anywhere in the world.

If you're in international waters, might makes right, and the USCG probably outguns you. If they want to board, they're going to board, and there's no law or treaty that prevents them from doing so.

The only place they don't have or take the right to board you is in the territorial waters of foreign nations. Where that nation's Coast Guard will do the same.

When I was in the Navy during the Gulf War, we did protested boardings of hostile neutral nations (e.g., Chinese flagged) and these were extremely tense standoffs the entire time. Like the vessel's captain held at gunpoint during the entire inspection, and escorting them out of the gulf when we found weapons hidden in their grain bins.

In international waters, what little treaty law exists supports the right of Navies and coast guards to board and inspect without cause.

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