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Old 08-08-2019, 05:38   #31
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

a big storm hit yesterday at Beaufort and Hilton Head and then Savannah last night. Probably 30 knots of wind with gusts. It was a relief from the heat though.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:50   #32
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

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Am I right that the “marine police” (when not accompanied by uscg personal), are simply state or local LEOs, with no more or less authority than a local street cop, and no particular “marine process”?
Qualifier: I'm not a cop - but I've been arrested enough times...(JK, former, pre-9/11 law enforcement) and person on the receiving end of FWS "inspections".

You have to be careful about all the different agencies on the water and it's impossible to make a single sweeping statement about all of them. In some states Fish and Wildlife have authority to "inspect" for compliance with state's laws. If they see something during that inspection that gives rise to probable cause, they can do a more detailed search if they also have law enforcement powers. Example: some states specifically allow Fish and Wildlife officers to board and inspect areas where fishing equipment or fish are commonly stored. This might include fish tanks, areas where rods could be stored, freezers, etc. But probably wouldn't include searching cabinets in the berth area.

With marine police, I understand post-9/11 laws and authorities have delegated some safety and compliance inspection authority to some police agencies. If so, they can do safety inspections without probable cause and without your consent. Again, if in the course of the inspection they see something that gives rise to probable cause, I understand they can shift into a "search". Example: If marine police have authority in your state to inspect vessels for safety compliance, they can stop you without probable cause and board your vessel to inspect fire extinguishers. But they can't start opening cabinets and looking around without probable cause, a warrant, or your permission.

In any case, if anyone asks to board, you are within your rights to ask if they are seeking permission (which you can withhold or grant) or if they are requiring your cooperation. In either case, courtesy and professionalism should be extended on your part and if they say they are coming on board, that's not the time to discuss your constitutional rights. However, many times law enforcement will "ask" to come aboard when they don't have the legal grounds to "insist" on a boarding. If they "ask" and you consent, they don't need probable cause to look around.

A friendly question should be enough to let you know what type of boarding your are on the receiving end of.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:11   #33
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

I got something recently, probably on some USCG notices to which I subscribe, that there was an enforcement action by multiple local and federal agencies along about 500 miles of Atlantic coast. Much of it was aimed at compliance with safe boating regs. I don't know how anyone on the water could have avoided it.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:20   #34
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

Iíve been sailing Narragansett Bay & Vinyard Sound for over 30 years ( live on board all summer), and I have NEVER been boarded. - nor have any of my friends. Sounds like I wonít travel down to the Chesapeake as I abhor police state stuff like youíre relating.
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Old 13-08-2019, 08:51   #35
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

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This thread has devolved into a number of conversations. Regarding CG boarding in the lower Chesapeake, in Hampton Roads it’s a pretty common occupancy. There is a CG training facility in Yorktown and they are out and about all the time. We are not aggressive boaters by any means; but we are on the water A LOT. As a result, we ‘host’ them about every 15 months. They are always friendly and professional. However, we are middle aged, not partying and have all of our documents and equipment clearly ready and available. They have not actually laid foot on our vessel. They tie off next to us and as us to show them documents and safety items. When they are done, they issue us a receipt/document that we can present to other crews if we are approached. They pretty much waive us off after we show the subsequent teams this paper. We have NEVER been approached by any marine law enforcement in our dinghy and, to date, never had any documentation other than registration as I assumed that pointing to my mothership and going back to it would be enough. Lesson learned...

Just reread and searched the Va and Md. boat requirements and no where in ether regulations does it specifically say you need to carry your drivers license. In Va they are phasing in the boating education requirement for every one if operating a boat w/>10 hp. Guess in Va they could write you up if you didn't have a bell, whistle or horn in your dink.



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Old 13-08-2019, 10:28   #36
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

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I’ve been sailing Narragansett Bay & Vinyard Sound for over 30 years ( live on board all summer), and I have NEVER been boarded. - nor have any of my friends. Sounds like I won’t travel down to the Chesapeake as I abhor police state stuff like you’re relating.

In my experience - the MD DNR and CG usually don't actually come aboard. Generally just idle alongside, in and out of gear, and ask you to show them the safety stuff by lifting it up into view. Of course it's a pain in the rear, but they are usually polite and out of there - unless you ask them for a fishing report or something. Usually nice guys, but you can run into some "by the book' attitude if they think you're acting like a jerk. It would be nice if they could run a registration # by sight, and see if you've already been checked for safety requirements that season, but I guess part of the reason is to see if you've been drinking. I've been checked maybe every 4 years or so - but if I see them idling around, I usually give them a wide berth... The checks in the lower Bay seem to be more security related, due to all the military installations there - I haven't been that far down very often-
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Old 13-08-2019, 15:15   #37
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

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Originally Posted by AJA View Post
I’ve been sailing Narragansett Bay & Vinyard Sound for over 30 years ( live on board all summer), and I have NEVER been boarded. - nor have any of my friends. Sounds like I won’t travel down to the Chesapeake as I abhor police state stuff like you’re relating.
I think I've seen the CG stopping boats maybe 5 times since 2011.

We see lots of patrol boats but inspections are rare.

We do get to observe the Carriers, ships, and subs going out though …...at a distance that is enforced by Navy Patrol Boats on either side with repeated warnings on channel 16.

The subs are the best and many time all you can see from just a mile or so away is the top of their rudder and their sail. They are already low in the water

We also get to see the latest fast Seal delivery boats

Also a carrier exiting the bay with patrol boats.
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Old 13-08-2019, 17:51   #38
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

Viva la Coast Guard. Most useful branch of the Armed Services - for boaters anyway.
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Old 14-08-2019, 06:51   #39
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Re: Lower Chesapeake Bay Afternoon Squall

I was boarded and inspected by CG, 35 miles offshore of Cape Henry, VA. I saw and heard them from a few miles away. They launched a RIB and put two guys on my boat. They were polite and courteous, I had no issues.

Unfortunately for some reason the 4th amendment doesn't seem to apply to boats and/or the Coast Guard. They can search without cause as I understand it.
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