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Old 25-02-2016, 08:23   #16
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

FWC will in a heartbeat, and some have postulated it's often an excuse to snoop around.
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Old 25-02-2016, 08:31   #17
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
Do local police actually board vessels to verify the marine head is in compliance? I hate the concept of having no rights, but with the history of drug running, I can live with it, but violating someone's privacy and boarding a vessel to inspect the head seems like a bit of a government overreach.
In a long life of boating, I've been boarded once.

New Symerna Beach Potty Partol.
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Old 25-02-2016, 11:50   #18
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
Do local police actually board vessels to verify the marine head is in compliance? I hate the concept of having no rights, but with the history of drug running, I can live with it, but violating someone's privacy and boarding a vessel to inspect the head seems like a bit of a government overreach.
It's a fact. Do a search on old posts on this forum and you'll find specific, detailed reports. FWC (Florida water police) will board you and I've heard CA and other places it's not uncommon. Frequent procedure, they will go to your head, put dye in the toilet, flush and look to see if the dye appears on the water by your boat. If it does you get hit with a significant fine.

However, I agree that the potty patrol is often just an excuse to search see inside your boat without a warrant.


You say you can live with this due to the history of drug running. Would you be OK with it if the local police came into your home on land and searched it without a warrant or probably cause just because there was a history of drug dealers in your town? There were times in the past when I lived on a boat with my family and that was our only home and was as sacred to us as anyone's home on land.
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Old 25-02-2016, 12:57   #19
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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I've been boarded twice, once by US Boarder/Customs and once by US Coast Guard. Both times they were polite and professional. No problems and they have my respect.


S/V B'Shert
Me too. May be I was just so nice to them. I even asked them to stay for dinner. .....hahahah
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Old 25-02-2016, 13:16   #20
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
I hate the concept of having no rights, but with the history of drug running, I can live with it, but violating someone's privacy and boarding a vessel to inspect the head seems like a bit of a government overreach.
It's not just about the head. Or not at all, even. And you have rights, just not the right to decline being searched (for obvious reasons).

As a cruiser you can be boarded by local authorities at any time you arrive in their waters.

Anything can be checked: compliance with local laws, paperwork, any illegal substances or food etc. that's not allowed to enter the country ...

While it's little to no fun, I honestly don't see what the problem is. If there's nothing to find and you're polite and cooperative, it's usually non-invasive and they'll be on their way soon enough.
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Old 25-02-2016, 13:24   #21
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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While it's little to no fun, I honestly don't see what the problem is. If there's nothing to find and you're polite and cooperative, it's usually non-invasive and they'll be on their way soon enough.
I agree but don't tell that to Tim Cook...
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Old 25-02-2016, 13:33   #22
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

Lizzy,
Strange as this may sound Americans in general don't trust their government, never have, never will I don't think.
Some of us don't like having to put up with searches with no reasonable cause, although that is becoming more and more common in our society, automobile road blocks for example.
Yes there are many nuts over here, but maybe this inherit mistrust of Government has played a part in it not overwhelming us?
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Old 25-02-2016, 13:42   #23
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
Do local police actually board vessels to verify the marine head is in compliance? I hate the concept of having no rights, but with the history of drug running, I can live with it, but violating someone's privacy and boarding a vessel to inspect the head seems like a bit of a government overreach.
No one hates big government more than I do, but I don't think that checking for compliance with sanitation standards is really over-reaching.

I've never been boarded by the Coast Guard, and as I have stated before I have nothing but admiration for the US Coast Guard. DHS is another issue. Real pricks, those. And they enjoy harassing you, even when they KNOW you are no threat. I have a post somewhere else about the night they snuck up on us in total stealth, 15nm off of Ft Lauderdale, under sail, heading away from the US (I repeat, in a sailboat, under sail), then blasted us with floodlights, made me go and rouse everybody who was asleep and bring them on deck (a family with two young children), refused to use the VHF and instead made me shout (while they used a megaphone), etc. Real pricks. I hope they hit a floating cargo container on the way home.

Pete
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:05   #24
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

Yup. They _will_ toss a dye tab in the head in Catalina. Last time the guy just pulls up next to the boat, says "I'm here for the dye tab," hops on board, goes down below and drops the tab in my head.

The wife was glad she wasn't changing clothes at the time since the guy didn't ask or anything. (Every other interface I've had with the patrol has been professional enough)

Even with drug running/terror industrial complex, it all rubs me the wrong way. Law enforcement (in the US) has so much a "I need to be a hardass" vibe to it. pete33458's story is kinda typical. Ask any inner-city young male about being harassed by the cops. There's very little pressure for law enforcement to actually serve the public instead of harass it. The erosion of the exclusionary rule over the last few decades is a good indicator.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:15   #25
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

Boarded once, documentation, life jacket check, epirb and they filled out their form, they were surprised we slept on the boat, turns out couple of them were from the mid west.

Be nice and professional and so will they.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:23   #26
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Strange as this may sound Americans in general don't trust their government // Some of us don't like having to put up with searches with no reasonable cause
Same here, but personally I don't have a problem with the CG boarding. I get to see a lot of them, living aboard in Rotterdam Police too. Usually they're nice & professional enough.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:25   #27
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

Understand the difference in a "search" and a safety check...till you understand that...your grasp of this whole topic is irrelevant.

The USCG is empowered to do "safety checks" with major limitations....but NOT a search without probable cause.

Now...they can swab public view items for residue...I know coke shows up a lot...not sure about cannabis. If your laptop or certain other public view items that are often touched by smugglers with residue on their hands...guess what....probable cause. At that point an uncomplicated safety check can turn into a destructive search because the probable cause has been met. But in my experience...the "probable cause" issue is still called in and cleared at a higher level. So it is very inconvenient but probably the vast majority of requests are turned down because the reality is the USCG knows most boaters aren't smugglers.

As for potty checks...comply and no big deal. Even if you regularly dump raw sewage...beating that inspection isn't rocket science and that's what pisses off the compliant with aggravating laws requiring easily bypassed ways of securing a MSD system.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:26   #28
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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not only in usa waters, as uscg declared mexican and canadian waters as their own home base waters.

If your are documented in America, they could board you on a Chinese inland lake.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:32   #29
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

A lot of anti government stuff has been posted here including some downright hatred.


We have a lot of freedoms in the USA and one of these is the freedom to leave and live somewhere else.


Don't let the transom hit you in the a$$ on the way out.
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Old 25-02-2016, 14:38   #30
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Re: Coast Guard/DEA boardings

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If your are documented in America, they could board you on a Chinese inland lake.
Well not entirely correct...the USCG even has limited or no jurisdiction for much of their oversight even in lakes wholly contained within a state of the USA.

There is a balance of federal jurisdiction on navigable waters with interstate commerce.

I can't quote it all here but loo it up...lakes wholly contained within a state and federal jurisdiction.

But you are correct in that US vessels are subject to US law anywhere in the world...but that gets really complicated to exactly what.
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