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Old 19-04-2009, 07:32   #16
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Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
Hey Salmon,

I feel your frustration. Anyone who has boated regularly in the Strait of Juan De Fuca both prior to, and since, 9/11 knows for FACT that Law enforcement has gone WAY OVER the top in this area. From 1990 - 2001, 1 boarding total. From 2003 - 2007? Six boardings total (And that's with being only a part-time resident since 2003.) In 2007, I decided upon a tactic that's proven MOST effective. I've made myself abundantly known to the local CG station near Coleman docks, and to the Marine Police station at Gasworks. If it's convenient, I buy some doughnuts and bring with. I then proceed to tell the same repetitive story over and over and over again - about how I really wanted to join the CG, but was disqualified because of a bad back. The story is complete bullocks, but it serves a very express purpose. I volunteer that if they ever come upon me on the water, that they can feel free to instigate a boarding if "Training" purposes require - and I'll be MOST HELPFUL. I then proceed to talk their ear off as much as humanly possible - providing annoyance to no end. You know the type - that overly "Helpful" guy that just wishes he could be part of the team? Now they look out for me. If they spot me, or my car coming - blinds get drawn and everyone makes busy like. On the water, I've seen CG RIB's approach and then suddenly veer away. LOL... Since I've instigated my "Mr Friendly" policy - I've not been boarded since 2007. It's been a VERY effective strategy. LOL

You are a devious bastard but I like it.
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Old 19-04-2009, 08:35   #17
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Suppose for a moment that it was Devine Providence that got you stopped twice, to make you too late for a rendezvous with bad news for the fifth passenger!

No, that's not it; the life jackets wouldn't matter, its impossible to stuff a drunk into one, or keep him/her in it.

And you might consider the possibility that a good citizen back at the road house/ Beer Stop made those calls!
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Old 19-04-2009, 09:35   #18
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I witnessed an event last spring where a boat went aground entering st augustine inlet, we could see the boat getting battered buy the surf They called the CG begged and pleaded for help No! Will call sea tow This went on for over an hour. It was hard to listen to. Sea tow shows up with on guy on the boat, he can not help Distressed boat still begging Cg for help after over an hour Ok we will send assets. To late The sportfish washes up on the beach and fire rescue helps remove the captain and crew. The boat looked to be a total loss. I was listening to the radio thinking dam send some help please. I have great respect for the CG and I understand the budget considerstions but They board you and me for no reason but can't help when they are really needed. How does help the safety of the water ways? Sad!
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Old 19-04-2009, 09:39   #19
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CG safety decal

In the past I would have the CG Aux come by and do the safety check and get their decal which is large enough. Slap it on the mast and then you will see a reduction of on the water stops.

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Old 19-04-2009, 11:42   #20
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So are you the spelling police? Where you are does make a difference ie what type of life jackets, flare requirements and which state you are.

The requirements are very basic, trying to do the right thing is fine but doing a check of you equipment once a year and maintaining your boat will surely allow you to pass these boardings.
I am not in the NW so do not know how the CG's boading parties act there. Every time I have been boarded by the CG they have been professional. Last year was the fist time since 2000 that I did not get boarded. We have not had to change course or what we were doing at their request. The have contacted me either by radio or just came up along side match speed and told me that they were going to board , then put the board party on and the RIB droped back and matched our speed. I suspect more boarding are performed in the sound than they do here and have to put up with many different atitudes. I have alway tried to treat the boarding party professionaly. Most have name tags and the rank on their uniforms so I address them by rank and name , They removed their black "combat boots" when requested. I offer something to drink. Most do not accept the drinks but I think it sets the tone for the boarding. I have more issues with the rules than the people enforcing them. For instance why do you have to lock the overboards shut instead of just removing the handle.

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As a racer if you are meeting the RRS and US Sailing safety requirements you exceed the CG's equipment. Again not sure if you club or association modifies the safety requirements. I suspect you could have asked them to board you and allow you to continue to the regatta area. We never drank much alcohol during the rae but yes after the race the drinks would have been flowing.
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Old 19-04-2009, 11:52   #21
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While maybe not fair, are you honestly surprised that you got red flagged by the safety people to be hassled with a drunk crew and not even paying enough attention to make sure there were enough life jackets on board? A database or typing error got you the first visit, your own actions most likely provided the followup.

John
Thanks for the information about the operators license and distress signals.

But I'm still asserting that they hassled me because we are all young. Reading peoples experience with the officials seems to be professional and timely. They were very condescending and a couple of them shouted at my crew, whom they made all sit in a line facing the coast guard while they ran our drivers licenses! So, i am AM surprised and at the followup and do not think my own actions merited theirs.
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Old 19-04-2009, 15:49   #22
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Imagine . . . a boatload of drunk, young people . . . getting stopped by law enforcement? Having their ID's checked (most likely to see if they were underage drinkers)? How illogical of them to think to check if the boat operator was also drunk?

And they had the nerve to actually insist that in case the boatload of party-goers ended up dumped overboard, each of them had something to keep them afloat while those same law enforcement jackboots came and fished them out?

The nerve of them!

DGC
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Old 19-04-2009, 18:44   #23
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In Ontario the Provincial Police have the authority to stop boaters to check for boozing boaters and make sure the required safety gear is on board. In my area too many weekend warriors and inexperienced boaters get themselves into trouble and these stops although seen as an intrusion probably save lives.
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:06   #24
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But I'm still asserting that they hassled me because we are all young. Reading peoples experience with the officials seems to be professional and timely. They were very condescending and a couple of them shouted at my crew, whom they made all sit in a line facing the coast guard while they ran our drivers licenses! So, i am AM surprised and at the followup and do not think my own actions merited theirs.
Salmon - None of us were there to see what really happened but I am sort of in the camp with Cal40 and DavidGC although maybe not their exact tone.

If you weren't drinking, had required life jackets and non-expired flares, you may have been tagged as a boat load of "good" young people. Instead you were tagged as non-compliant young people. And I might guess that the Sherrif shares info with the CG as a matter of course.

It's likely they reprted the stop, the fact you weren't compliant and the CG took note. The follow up from the CG was probably to make sure you did in fact get the 5th jacket.

Suggest you quit looking at externalities to explain the fact that your boat was definitely not compliant.

Sorry - tough love...
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Old 19-04-2009, 19:16   #25
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When inspected by the USCG they generally do the full inspection and cite for all the offenses most all the time. Marine police and Sheriffs may or may not do the complete inspection and often are not to the same level of boating regulation familiarity as the USCG. Inspections on the water are permitted on demand. No one could rally know how many PFD's you might have on board. Around here the marine police love to start with the throwable requirement and can fine you and be on their way with no other citations. All the rules matter all the time.

The new boating safety requirements are targeted at reducing deaths on the water. Drunk and stupid seems to rate high on the list as does the use of PFD's. For the most part none of this is about highly technical stuff. The web site exam permits you to take the test and if you fail you don't have to pay. It means you retake it until you pass then pay. The same site does the requirement exams for the 41 states that require it. Many states have phases of enforcement based on age for compliance.
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:21   #26
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I remember when I was on my out the bay one morning in small 26' dory that I had rigged to drag along the Fisher Island sound. I was head toward the breach way a shoal passage between Napatree Point and Sandy Point. Across the bay I saw a CG cutter. They spotted me and slowed down. I believe that because my nets were sitting on the gunnels that they may have thought I had bails of pot onboard. Anyway, I couldn't believe was I saw - they turned on the flashing lights and made a bee line for me. Had to be me because it was early in the morning about 5am. There were a lot of rocks between my dory and their cutter. The cutter was running almost wide open and it came to an obrupt stop. The lights went out and I cruised along to fishing grounds.

The best part was that I also worked in Groton Ct at General Dyanmics on the 2nd shift. After work I went out to a local watering hole and over heard the story about how a small drug boat had lured the Coast Guard onto the rocks just outside of Stonnington harbor.
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:41   #27
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I remember when I was on my out the bay one morning in small 26' dory that I had rigged to drag along the Fisher Island sound. I was head toward the breach way a shoal passage between Napatree Point and Sandy Point. Across the bay I saw a CG cutter. They spotted me and slowed down. I believe that because my nets were sitting on the gunnels that they may have thought I had bails of pot onboard. Anyway, I couldn't believe was I saw - they turned on the flashing lights and made a bee line for me. Had to be me because it was early in the morning about 5am. There were a lot of rocks between my dory and their cutter. The cutter was running almost wide open and it came to an obrupt stop. The lights went out and I cruised along to fishing grounds.

The best part was that I also worked in Groton Ct at General Dyanmics on the 2nd shift. After work I went out to a local watering hole and over heard the story about how a small drug boat had lured the Coast Guard onto the rocks just outside of Stonnington harbor.

Rayallyn,

Well you were certainly in the shadow of many boats which used to do the same back in the the days of prohibition.

Glad no one got hurt and I am sure those young coasties had to go to local navigation refresher school! How do you explain how you played bend the cutter to the station commander?

Thanks for a good story!

I will say in my experience with the USCG has been nothing but the best since 911. The cowboys seem to be the locals who just got their go fast boats with DHS grant money and need to show the locals whom they work for who is in charge. This is not an across the board indictment... but if the shoes fits they know who they are.

The USCG and the rest who do a decent honest job, have nothing but my repect.

John
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Old 19-04-2009, 20:54   #28
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I have notice a change in public officials like police in the past several years since 911. I work as a photographer and photojournalist. They have become much more aggressive in trying to stop the press even to the point violating personal rights and threatening arrest for stating the law and your rights (done in a nice way). It is the local departments that give the most trouble the Statey's are usually pretty good. The new wording the police use around here is protecting victim's rights. Stop the press but let the public through.
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Old 20-04-2009, 06:14   #29
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Today's sail left some to be desired.
We left the marina today at around 1030LST and immediately got boarded by the county Sheriff. They initially said the registration showed up as only current of 2004, i'm really not sure where that came from.They then proceeded to reprimand me for not having enough life jackets (only 4 for 5 people), understandable. Though they told me it was required to have a boat saftey license or something, even though my boat only has 7.5HP
We went back to the dock and borrowed a life jacket, then proceed to exit the marina and continue on our day when about 45 minutes later the Coast guard stopped us. This time they were not joking around, they inspected EVERYTHING, they found nothing except an expired flare gun, in which they fined me!!
It was my understanding that this equipment was not required when within 3 miles of the coast....
I think they were just upset because we are younger and my crew was slightly inebriated. It is just very upsetting to be pushed around and hasseled by two government agencies, within an hour.
If you look at it from their point of view something good may come of this. Nobody likes dragging for bodies.

1) "slightly inebriated" crew is a major liability to you and risk for them. You should not have left the dock especially if they were "slightly" impaired enough for it to be obvious..... A higher probability of accident/MOB.

2) If you really cared about crew safety you would have had enough PFD's and valid flares. Your actions and words don't match, and they had reason to believe your attitude is negligent.

3) What about general appearance of your boat? Does it appear to be well maintained? Did it look ship-shape and safe/reliable? Were you near-overloaded or was your crew acting "boisterous". That might have prompted their attention.
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Old 20-04-2009, 19:41   #30
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Today's sail left some to be desired.
We left the marina today at around 1030LST and immediately got boarded by the county Sheriff. They initially said the registration showed up as only current of 2004, i'm really not sure where that came from.They then proceeded to reprimand me for not having enough life jackets (only 4 for 5 people), understandable. Though they told me it was required to have a boat saftey license or something, even though my boat only has 7.5HP
We went back to the dock and borrowed a life jacket, then proceed to exit the marina and continue on our day when about 45 minutes later the Coast guard stopped us. This time they were not joking around, they inspected EVERYTHING, they found nothing except an expired flare gun, in which they fined me!!
It was my understanding that this equipment was not required when within 3 miles of the coast....
I think they were just upset because we are younger and my crew was slightly inebriated. It is just very upsetting to be pushed around and hasseled by two government agencies, within an hour.
It can be upsetting to be the focus of not one, but two, different law enforcement agencies, Salmon Hat, but they may have done you a very big favor. I doubt you'll shove off again, at least not any time soon, without having all of your ducks in a row.

For what it's worth, here's a link to the safety check form: Click here for the form in pdf format. It's often much better to anticipate what might come up in a safety inspection, and take the steps necessary to avoid any issues.

Hard as it may be to believe, Salmon Hat, most of us here were not only young once, but we can actually remember what it was like! When a person gets "pulled over" for any reason, or none, it can make a person feel unfairly singled out. But when it happens while you're young, it feels much more like a personal affront, a blow to your ego, even an attempt to embarrass you in front of the lovely young lady you finally talked into going sailing with you (even if she is half-drunk and probably won't remember anyway.)

Relax . . . it truly isn't personal. They're doing their job, that's all. The more you (and your crew) cooperate, the sooner it will be over. The hard part comes in the aftermath as you continually stew over the "injustice" of it all as you re-hash events with your "slightly inebriated" crew, carry it home with you at the end of the day, even post your frustrations online in a bid for . . . what . . . sympathy?

This may not be the best Forum to seek sympathy, if that was your goal. As Dan said earlier in this thread, Salmon Hat, "tough love" is the best you'll probably find here.

Shake it off . . . bring your vessel up to state-of-the-art safety standards . . . try to get your crew to understand that drunkenness does not enhance the sailing experience (quite the contrary) . . . sail in peace with the knowledge that a little flare gun violation/fine is trivial.

Become a more seamanlike member of the sailing fraternity. In time, you will come to laugh about your "double boarding" that day in the San Juans.

TaoJones
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