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Old 23-02-2010, 03:20   #91
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Hard to imagine...

It's hard to imagine the USCG or the US Navy boarding a US flagged boat in the territorial waters of any of the major western powers.

They'd need permission first and I could not see it being given in even exceptional circumstances.
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Old 23-02-2010, 04:51   #92
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Just a guess...but I think It falls under "vehicles" Law enforcement doesn't have to get search warrants to stop and search your car, truck or Motorhome or plane either...even if you live in them.
It doesn't even fall under vehicles. For example, a police officer has to get a warrant to search your trunk or have exigent circumstances.
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Old 23-02-2010, 04:57   #93
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" Vessel Searches .--Not only is the warrant requirement inapplicable to brief stops of vessels, but also none of the safeguards applicable to stops of automobiles on less than probable cause are necessary predicates to stops of vessels. In United States v. Villamonte-Marquez, 74 the Court upheld a random stop and boarding of a vessel by customs agents, lacking any suspicion of wrongdoing, for purpose of inspecting documentation. The boarding was authorized by statute derived from an act of the First Congress, 75 and hence had ''an impressive historical pedigree'' carrying with it a presumption of constitutionality. Moreover, ''important factual differences between vessels located in waters offering ready access to the open sea and automobiles on principal thoroughfares in the border area'' justify application of a less restrictive rule for vessel searches. The reason why random stops of vehicles have been held impermissible under the Fourth Amendment, the Court explained, is that stops at fixed checkpoints or roadblocks are both feasible and less subject to abuse of discretion by authorities. ''But no reasonable claim can be made that permanent checkpoints would be practical on waters such as these where vessels can move in any direction at any time and need not follow established 'avenues' as automobiles must do.'' 76 Because there is a ''substantial'' governmental interest in enforcing documentation laws, ''especially in waters where the need to deter or apprehend smugglers is great,'' the Court found the ''limited'' but not ''minimal'' intrusion occasioned by boarding for documentation inspection to be reasonable. 77 Dis senting Justice Brennan argued that the Court for the first time was approving ''a completely random seizure and detention of persons and an entry onto private, noncommercial premises by police officers, without any limitations whatever on the officers' discretion or any safeguards against abuse.'' 78"

FindLaw: U.S. Constitution: Fourth Amendment: Annotations pg. 3 of 6
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Old 23-02-2010, 05:14   #94
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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
It's hard to imagine the USCG or the US Navy boarding a US flagged boat in the territorial waters of any of the major western powers.

They'd need permission first and I could not see it being given in even exceptional circumstances.
I am sure that in the Caribbean the USCG / US Navy has pretty much most of the seas under it's area operations - but that's from the consent of the Countries involved. But it ain't a worldwide thing - some countries are a bit sensitive on foreign military turning up at will

Having said that, I would expect that US flagged vessels are subject to boarding by US forces worldwide - just that in practice, in "foreign" territorial waters, US military vessels don't have at will access (not to say of course that access can't be arranged for specific operations - for the naughtier amongst you all )

In US waters? Whatever
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Old 23-02-2010, 05:48   #95
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JZK-

MANY thanks for this link. It was extremely enlightening. It does seem that most often, a judge will decide on the side of law enforcement where searching boats are concerned because the courts have found boarding for documentation to be reasonable, and because of the smuggling issue.

It also seems that an officer can cite nearly anything as "probable cause" and get away with it.

At the very edge of the "no wake" zone at Spa Creek and the Severn River, I did have a patrol boat flash their lights at me. When I stopped, They asked if they could board. I thought this was rather odd considering that my stinkpot was only 17' and completely open to view, but I allowed it. They viewed my registration and inspected my safety gear. I guess they were being much more polite than they had to.

Look, I'm not trying to be a sea-lawyer and I don't plan on annoying law enforcement by arbitrarily denying a boarding, but I just want to know what the laws are, and what my rights are. I don't think that being a concerned, and involved citizen is "deviant" behavior. It is responsible behavior.

Also, when John said that cruisers don't contribute to a community because they don't pay taxes and live there for free he's dead-wrong. If you live there (even on the hook outside of a marina), you spend money, you make purchases, you pay sales tax on goods and fuel. If you choose to, you might contribute to the community through volunteer work or perhaps you provide a service to the maritime community like engine repair, sailwork or carpentry.

Just because you're a liveaboard or a cruiser does not mean you have to let communities treat you like water-borne trailer trash.

Sorry for the rant.
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Old 23-02-2010, 08:17   #96
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The USCG entering other nations' territorial waters without permission and performing a boarding there is illegal. Even a small country like Holland will intercept them, make them stand down and arrest everyone aboard. As the officers aboard USCG cutters are smart enough, this just doesn't happen.
If the US is tracking a boat suspected of smuggling or whatever, they will request the other nation to stop and search them (they tip them). They will do that regardless of the flag of that boat. In International waters they can stop that boat themselves but they only patrol a very small part of the world's seas and oceans so even then they will request assistance from other navies.

In the Caribbean, the task force to counter drug trafficking is a NATO force. It can well be a Dutch frigate that stops and boards you, or French, British etc. I don't think they are allowed to operate in Cuban or Venezuelan waters for example. Even in Colombia, I only saw the Colombian navy patrol their waters (they are everywhere, not a single day goes by without seeing them). We saw US navy (not CG) in Cartagena harbor but just visiting, not doing any operations. When a country doesn't have the resources themselves, they will often welcome USCG assistance and sign a permanent agreement. I have seen USCG patrolling Panama waters but think this also has to do with the canal protection.

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Old 23-02-2010, 09:17   #97
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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
It's hard to imagine the USCG or the US Navy boarding a US flagged boat in the territorial waters of any of the major western powers.

They'd need permission first and I could not see it being given in even exceptional circumstances.
Integrated Border Enforcement Team.
Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs)

Officers are given special appointments allowing them to operate cross border (in Canadian/US pairs I believe).
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Old 23-02-2010, 09:42   #98
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The US Navy operates in the Caribbean Sea, Central America and South America. With a numbered Fleet of ships!
See below.

Navy Reestablishes U.S. 4th Fleet
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Old 23-02-2010, 10:07   #99
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Integrated Border Enforcement Team.
Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs)

Officers are given special appointments allowing them to operate cross border (in Canadian/US pairs I believe).
That's how it happens often. I remember a case where Dutch marines were aboard a US navy ship that was patrolling and checking Dutch flagged ships (not yachts). Cooperation is often very good, especially among NATO members.

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Old 23-02-2010, 11:20   #100
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The US Navy operates in the Caribbean Sea, Central America and South America. With a numbered Fleet of ships!
See below.

Navy Reestablishes U.S. 4th Fleet
John, you make it sound so like they are there to rule these waters or something. There are many navies present in that area and they mostly cooperate. Even in the photo on the link you posted you can see a Peruvian navy escort and multi-national forces being transferred between the ships.

Numbering fleets is an administrative thing I think? I mean, when they re-established the 4th fleet they just transferred existing ships, bases and personnel to it, mostly from the 2nd fleet I understand.
Other nations might give their fleets different names or just a single name with a designation for where a fleet is stationed or operates, like "Atlantic fleet" etc.

The navies from the bordering nations are there to protect their nation, others, like the US, are there to protect their interests like islands belonging to them (US, Britain, France, Holland; the rest is all independent I think), suppress drug trafficking or just to keep relations with friendly nations up or even improve them like with visits, joint exercise etc.
It's all pretty friendly and not aggressive at all. When we meet navy ships out there, it's all smiles and waving, even when they are from Venezuela. I don't mind having them around at all.

A long time ago we used to greet them by lowering the ensign for a minute or so and they would return the greeting. We stopped when they didn't return the greeting once (too many yachts on the water as the years passed) but I might try it again because the navies of south America seem more conservative and favoring traditions to me.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:24   #101
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
... I have seen USCG patrolling Panama waters but think this also has to do with the canal protection.
cheers,
Nick.
If the USCG was patrolling (flying the Panamanian flag from the main mast) and not just transiting Panamanian waters the mission was most likely drug related.
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:27   #102
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I
US Immigration will give you a tourist visa the length of which is equal to the length of stay given to US citizens in your country. That sir is fact. A good cruising friend, while in the US had to fly is wife back to Brazil, so she could return and renew her visia.



Regards John
That sounds fair.
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:30   #103
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That sounds fair.
Yes, I have no problem with this.
John
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:44   #104
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
John, you make it sound so like they are there to rule these waters or something. There are many navies present in that area and they mostly cooperate. Even in the photo on the link you posted you can see a Peruvian navy escort and multi-national forces being transferred between the ships.

Numbering fleets is an administrative thing I think? I mean, when they re-established the 4th fleet they just transferred existing ships, bases and personnel to it, mostly from the 2nd fleet I understand.
Other nations might give their fleets different names or just a single name with a designation for where a fleet is stationed or operates, like "Atlantic fleet" etc.

The navies from the bordering nations are there to protect their nation, others, like the US, are there to protect their interests like islands belonging to them (US, Britain, France, Holland; the rest is all independent I think), suppress drug trafficking or just to keep relations with friendly nations up or even improve them like with visits, joint exercise etc.
It's all pretty friendly and not aggressive at all. When we meet navy ships out there, it's all smiles and waving, even when they are from Venezuela. I don't mind having them around at all.

A long time ago we used to greet them by lowering the ensign for a minute or so and they would return the greeting. We stopped when they didn't return the greeting once (too many yachts on the water as the years passed) but I might try it again because the navies of south America seem more conservative and favoring traditions to me.

ciao!
Nick.
gee Nick,
Please don't read anymore into my post than was there!

It was just news. No agenda. No rant.
It was one of the reasons that the Navy responded so quickly to the Earthquake in Haiti.

regards John
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Old 23-02-2010, 11:49   #105
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The right to search your vessel without a warrant is limited to the US Coast Guard and US Customs/Border Patrol. The local watercops, the DEA, US Marshals service, FBI, Etc. technically require a warrant. The trick they use to get around this is they often "escort" a customs agent. That's how they got away with it in United States v. Villamonte-Marquez. There was a customs officer with them. Essentially the ruling in United States v. Villamonte-Marquez says they can escort other government officials in the performance of their legitimate duties and don't have to ignore any criminal or other illegal activity seen while doing so. This ruling has been used by police who have insufficient probable cause to obtain a warrant to bust drug houses etc. They escort a building inspector or fire marshall on a "legitimate" building or fire code inspection. I've noticed that local watercops not bent on being jerks will often pull up along side and ask for your documentation and for you to show them your safety gear, not actually request to board. It would seem that the latest excuse for getting aboard is to inspect the status of head discharge valves. It would seem to me that if you escorted them directly to the valve and back, they would have no right to look in any other compartments, but if they saw something illegal in plain sight you would be busted. Again this is anyone other than the Coast Guard or Customs/border patrol. Though we may not like it there is ample case law supporting this. It started well before there were such things as pleasure vessels and all seagoing craft were engaged in trade. The rules were set up so the fledgling US government could be assured of collecting all duties and tarrifs associated with that trade. Now that the US Coast Guard recognizes a recreational category in its documentation, I feel that private recreational vessels should come under a different set of rules than commercial vessels, but the law has never made such a distinction.
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