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Old 06-03-2009, 15:00   #16
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So far everyone is pretty close. I am retired Coast Guard. The USCG can board any vessel in US waters, and any US vessel anywhere. see U.S. Coast Guard Boarding Policy If the US vessel is in another countries waters they need authorization from that country to enter their waters but not to board. If they wish to board a non US vessel outside of US waters they need what is called a statement of no objection from that country. These are given as a matter of course particularly if it may involve drug, arms or human smuggling, piracy or terrorism.
They can't do this as a matter of course - they must have reasonable grounds for suspecting the vessel was, is or will be committing an offence described in the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. Without that, they will not get flag-state approval to board, so they may resort to coercion, in an effort to get the Master to "volunteer for a compliant boarding" - to this you can tell them to bugger off (with all due respect, of course).
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Old 06-03-2009, 17:08   #17
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Never heard of the sinking thing... based on the way everyone is treating the Somalian Pirates with kid gloves.... I doubt if it's true.... although wish it was!
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Old 06-03-2009, 21:36   #18
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According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources "failure to stop and/or refusal to permit boarding is punishable by a $500.00 fine"
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Old 07-03-2009, 05:13   #19
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I don't have a problem with the USCG boarding my boat whenever they want. They'd be welcome. They have a job to do, and from all accounts, are pretty damn good at doing it.

I do have a problem with the Police however. And it is all down to one word. Arrogance. Although I have little experience with the USCG, here in UK waters, our CG are a little different in their duties to those in the US, but they are always polite and usually to the point of being friendly. I can extend that, usually, to the UKs specialist Marine Police. But the general run of the mill with the rest of the police is pushy, arrogant, ignorant and thoroughly distasteful, to the point where today, our Police have little public support. Sadly, the same is true ashore. I wish our Police had to read a letter similar to the one posted by the USCG above, but I am not sure they can all read.
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:46   #20
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The issue in australia is within state jursdiction not federal for most issues except those covered by Customs. Heres a hint to the USCG - come to australia and try and board me and you will get arrested by me for forceable detainer pursuant to the Criminal Code (Qld).

I am sure they wouldnt be here anyway - so its all a moot point.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:58   #21
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Awwwwwwwwwww Factor. Invite em aboard. Give em a drink. They're not the bad guys. Ever noticed how many lives they have saved?
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:55   #22
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Jurisdiction is something not understood by most people not involved professionally.

Each country has its own rules, and these are not just within their own territorial waters, but also for ships of their own flag state outside territorial waters.

Because of the piracy problems, there have also been agreements bewteen nations and also between owners and nations. Thus the problems of knowing who can board who and where becomes a very complex subject.

The issue of boarding a ship in someone elses territorial water is a really hot subject, and would normally require the explicit agreement of the nation in whoes territorial water is the ship.

Not many people realise that piracy is only possible in international waters. It is called Hijacking (or some similar term) when within a nation's territorial waters.

The recent UNSCR 1851(2008) is a good example of how the UN can operate with a national government in this area.
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Old 07-03-2009, 23:28   #23
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Lodesman: You misunderstood. I said that the staement of no objection is given as a matter of course. They have to give a reason, and it is handled by the state department desk for the ships flag country, who contacts the officials at the embassy of the country. This is only on the high seas, not in another nations waters. It doesn't take very long though, soemtimes the answer comes back in far less than an hour. But it is only a rare occasion when they say no, but it does happen, and that is usually some political thing.

What Talbot said is true. It's all a matter of jurisdiction. And jurisdidction is rarely understood by people who don't have some legal or law enforcement background.

Factor, the USCG visits Australia frequently, usually going to or from Antartica. So if you see a big red ship with a blue and white strip on the bow, give'em a wave and a big g'day.

US states have laws that vary all over the map as far as boardings go. It's best to check with your state's Boating Law Adminitrator. Home - National Association of State Boating Law Administrators

Cheechako, unfortunately you can't just hang pirates anymore, or burn their vessel. It's all gotten very involved with national jurisdictions and such. But that's how the British and the US did them in in the 18th century. They just shot them or hung them and burned their ship.

Talbot I like your tag line. I'm a huge Heinlein fan.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:55   #24
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Quote:
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Talbot I like your tag line. I'm a huge Heinlein fan.
I have about 34 Audio Books and even more paperbacks. I think I have all of his works as pdfs, html, lit or txt files.

My favourites have always been Stranger in a Strange Land, Citizen of the Galaxy and Double Star, with Farnhams Freehold a very close fourth.

However Number of the beast is a wonderfull piece of plagiarism and also deserves a place.

SciFi is my fav reading.
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:59   #25
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Ike,

I didn't misunderstand you - what you wrote was misleading. Non-US-flagged cruisers should not expect to ever be boarded in international waters by the USCG, unless they actually are involved in drug/human/weapon smuggling, piracy or terrorism.
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Old 08-03-2009, 16:24   #26
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Political expediency

Just as the USCG has been suborned recently for certain political justifications, any national military force may elect to act on the high seas and supply justifications or apologies later. It's important to realize that an active and engaged electorate tends to reduce such incidents by that nation.

Almost any vessel in international or territorial waters between the USA and the islands of Hispaniola, Isla de la Juventud, or Cuba
can expect to be boarded by the USCG. The very geographic location is considered reason enough these days. And nobody in the USA opposes that policy, while outside the USA all nations fear to confront the USA over such violations of international law - knowing the repercussions will be far in excess of any 'cost' to the USA or benefit to the protesting nation.

Pragmatically, non-USA-flagged vessels do need to expect to be boarded by the USA's forces abroad. Every nation which has refused to support a world court might engage in such behaviour - there's zero risk of repercussion for illegal behaviour, even though international treaties are 'the law of the land' according to the US Constitution.
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