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Old 06-10-2013, 09:12   #76
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by Sid at SailAway View Post
As some of you know that have been reading the blog, we have started our trip south and are now in Myrtle Beach. However, the first three miles of the trip got interesting. Here's the story..

Three miles down the South River after leaving Pier 7 Marina a small Coast Guard boat hails us down. The first thing they do with frantic waving of arms is tell us to slow down. Remember, we're on a Lagoon 410 doing all of 6 knots. I put her in neutral and they are still arm waving like crazy to slow down. I then ease her into reverse, if they thought I was supposed to slam her in reverse and make some kind of emergency stop they were mistaken. We stopped and they boarded and asked if we had weapons, to which we said no. Then they proceeded to tell us they were doing a safety inspection. No problem, I'm thinking, as I know we're ok. Well the first thing they dinged us one was our life jackets. We have the auto-inflate type and they told us they are not legal unless we are actually wearing them.


What about the jackets in the dink I asked? They were water ski type jackets and we were told they were fine, didn't have to wear them to be legal. I was confused at this point but next he wanted to see a horn or noise maker. I showed him our EcoHorn. This is the horn you recharge with a bike pump. Where is the Coast Guard approval stamp he asks? It was on the packaging but not on the horn. So now the horn is not legal. He asks if I have a whistle and I told him I had several. I got one out and he asked me to blow it and make sure it worked! Now, the whistle was fine even though it was not marked with a Coast Guard approval. More confused at this point.
Then he asked to see our fire extinguishers and their location. No problem except once again no Coast Guard approval on them. I have four onboard. At this point he tell us he is "terminating" our voyage and we have to return to our slip or mooring. We cannot move the boat from there until we have proper Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers onboard! And they were going to escort us back to make sure we complied! What the heck?? At that moment they received a may day concerning an overturned boat and had to leaver with escorting us back. They told us NOT to leave the river without proper gear.


We went back to Pier 7 and dropped the hook, launched the dink and went to shore. Had to borrow a car to run to West Marine and buy the Coats Guard approved extinguishers. Returned the car, hopped in the dink and returned to the boat.
My question is when did they Coast Guard get the authority to "terminate" a voyage do to not having Coast Guard approved equipment onboard. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Let me conclude by saying that we support the CG and the boarding party was professional and courteous.
Had you not put it in neutral and then in reverse i think you could have kept on going and avoided the whole thing..
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:12   #77
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
I am confused. Better? We paid well over $100 each for two Suspenders Type 5, CG approved on our boat. Personally, I do not like the inflatables. And sure, a Type 1 jacket provides better survival benefits IF WORN. But again, I guess there are inflatables of many variety.
In a true emergency I would rather be putting on a PFD that has a 100% certainty of not deflating. For comfort, the inflatables are better of course. The only reason the USCG approved the inflatables is because people are more likely to wear them. The inflatables do not qualify for commercial use.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:15   #78
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If I hear the refrain, "since 911 we have to do it this way", I'm gonna scream. BS! And it's unpatriotic or un American to complain. More BS. We are having our freedoms and libertys and rights removed from us and we almost like it. It's crazy. I live in a relatively affluent city and the police here are like storm troopers. It's unnerving to get pulled over by a guy who has body armor on as he rest his hand on his weapon. All for me making a turn on red. And I don't feel safer in the least because he and folks like him are patrolling our streets, in fact I feel frightened. Remember that feeling as your driving down the road and suddenly you see a cop right behind you? Fear. All of us experience the same response, and that is a bad thing. We don't employ these people to be the authority in the community, we hire them to protect us. Not to intimidate us, cause us to cower in their company. This is all way out of control and the only way it's going to get better is if we make it better. If I feel I'm being mistreated by an officer of whatever stripe I perfectly non aggressively ask to have the officer on duty, watch commander, Capt whatever called to mediate. I never argue with the officer. The officer never likes the request, but at the same time things begin to go by the book immediately. And if there is no real infraction going on, after some chest swelling and glaring, I'm on my way. The calmer I can be about this the better. And if you scoff and say you would never do such a thing, then you live in a police state! And you cosign that situation. And things will only get worse. My wife and I were accosted on the ICW by a boat full of armed Marines near the Camp Lejune base. I ask them to please not point their weapons in the direction of my wife and I and to call the OIC. They did and we went our way. They work for you. They have authority over their heads who want to cover their own ass's. They have a job to do, and it isn't puffing up their chest and menacing the citizenry. This event happened a number of years ago. Now a days, if one disagrees/argues with the officer you are non violently resisting arrest and can be taken in. WTF. If you feel dissatisfied with an encounter with your employees, it is critical that you do something. Call the CG, Police station whatever the case may be and talk to someone in charge. It need not be a witch hunt or retribution, but it sets in motion the possibility of someone setting some checks and balances. To do nothing at all is to surrender your liberty. Because you are afraid. The worst reason of all. And enough with the 911 refrain. Its like Pearl Harbor. It happened, we responded, move on. Have the annual ceremony, and move on. Lets not make a way of life out of it, or a career. Let go and live in your land of the free, your home of the brave. Let's be responsible as Americans.
I hear you and can't say I disagree with much of what you said here. Let me offer you another facet to the officers though. Most are human beings who put their pants on one leg at a time. They wear said body armor in hopes of going home to their families. Most of the gung-ho type are young and foolish and known to their fellow officers and usually ostracized if they don't tone it down. I'm speaking here of your local and state LEOs. Most are doing a crappy job for an even crappier salary. Most despise writing traffic citations. The Feds are another ballpark but again still people doing a job and want to return home to their respective families. They are people who want to be treated with the same respect they give you generally speaking. They have orders and a job to do and often it entails crappy work. Think about it from the coasties perspective. Do you really think they enjoy inspecting sanitation systems? Or looking at life jackets? It's not sexy work by any stretch. It's grunt work if I had to guess.

I was approached by a guy from DHS while overnighting in a transient marina. He was dressed like a soldier and armed. I saw him and said hello as I was walking my dog. We had a long chat about all sorts of things. At the end of it he asked about my trip plans and I told him I was delivering our recently purchased (pre-owned) boat back home. He told me what to say if stopped and what documents I needed to show since I had turned in the documentation paperwork but not received the blue slip as they were on a 6 month or so delay. He was a young guy maybe 25 former military doing a job and a nice kid. Do I agree the job needs to be done in the manner it is currently? No. But it isn't the fault of that guy or most like him. He had orders to check transient marinas for boats that hadn't cleared customs and immigration. That is also not sexy work but he was doing his job. The US does have a problem with illegal immigration or as they call it now undocumented workers. I'm just not sure they enter via boat on the Great Lakes but maybe I'm not privy to that info.

Under that body armor is a person that just wants to go home in one piece at the end of their shift. It's sad our society requires them to wear said armor but until our legislators get their collective heads out of their backsides and figure out a better solution (hopefully not shredding the constitution in the process) it is what it is.

I appreciate those that do a crappy job willingly for a crappy salary on my behalf. I have yet to be boarded but am confident it will bad find if that day comes.
SC
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:18   #79
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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there is no fine for having a bad attitude. i should know, i spent 30 min calling DEC cops on inland water about 4 years ago that did a boarding of my powerboat fascist pigs. they wrote me about 8 tickets. i told them i would never answer them, and never did. the courts up here in NY have no power to enforce boating infractions, only misdemeanors and felonies. so it is as i said to them, a waste of money, a waste of peoples time, and they would be better serving to go clean public toilets.


Bad attitudes can have reprecussions. CG has a lot of power and could do a drug hunt in your fuel tank using a drill. Why invite somebody to strike back? Long ago I learned it is a lot easier for all concerned to treat the guy with a badge and gun with respect.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:12   #80
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Sid, welcome to the United States of Big Brother. The Coast Guard is out inspecting people's life jackets and fire extinguishers whilst 80% of the people operating the boats have no idea what they are doing. They ought to consider implementing an operators requirement before allowing people to captain a vessel. Almost all of the accidents occur because of a complete lack of experience, not for want of a good life jacket. But in typical American fashion the boat manufacturers lobby in D.C. will not address the real problem because if you made all the yahoos who want to own a boat prove they had the ability and experience to SAFELY captain a vessel no one would bother buying a boat. In the mean time you get a bunch of pimple faced kids in rubber boats running around "checking" everyone. Your best bet is get the hell out of the U.S.A. and go somewhere less ridiculous.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:10   #81
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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What does everyone do with expired flares? I just can't bring myself to throw them away. Maybe I can use to start garbage fires in the islands!!!
Mark them, store them in a separate can, away from the ones that you need to carry in order to follow the rules. When you do need to deploy a flare, use up the old ones first & save the ones with the good dates on them for future use.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:19   #82
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Inspect the auto inflate trigger device. Some of these have a fragile, aspirin looking pill that releases the trigger. These can fail if old and give you a surprise
The auto-inflate systems on inflatable vests vary in geometry, but all of the ones that I have seen have been based on some piece of material that fails mechanically when wet. Unfortunately, condensation can sometimes be enough to set them off. I don't use the automatic systems on inflatables. I only use the manual vests.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:27   #83
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

The most simple rule of thumb is, if it is on the boat, it has to work. If you have an EPIRB make sure the registration is correct and up to date. Have your documentation of ownership handy as well as ID, if you wish to disagree with something that they are telling you, be ready to cite the regulation that proves you right. Don't be in battle mode, because you are being boarded. Remember, the boarding party has no idea of what they are walking into and you need to conduct yourself in a manner that is not threatening. Courteous professional behavior is needed by both parties, if you extend that, you should get the same in return, I always have. If you are a cruiser then you have taken yourself out of the realm of weekend boater and need to educate yourself about maritime traditions, rules of conduct, how your vessel should be configured. While you may not be in the realm of a commercial vessel, the closer you can operate like one will garner the respect of all. Usually the non - suspicous vessel will be boarded by the least experienced Coasties, usually there is one senior individual that has more experience than the rest, in charge. These newer guys need the experience, so that when they do go up against the bad guys, they have some seasoning. This post is no reflection on the OPs experience.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:33   #84
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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The auto-inflate systems on inflatable vests vary in geometry, but all of the ones that I have seen have been based on some piece of material that fails mechanically when wet. Unfortunately, condensation can sometimes be enough to set them off. I don't use the automatic systems on inflatables. I only use the manual vests.
Hydrostatic auto-inflatable PFDs use water pressure to trigger inflation. They won't go off from just being wet.

I wear mine in the rain, including once in a rainy and windy 6-hour sail.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:37   #85
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

I keep many whistles aboard. One attached to my throwable, and one at the helm.

Used to keep one on my daughter's life jacket when she was little. One of her big thrills was every time we went out, she got to give it a good test when she first put the jacket on. Got her in the habit of knowing it was there and how to give it a good blow.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:43   #86
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

Maybe in their opinion the horn didn't meet the requirement of being audible at one mile?
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:46   #87
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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I have one comment:

Don't you realize that the CG folks that visited your boat read forums such as this...and have friends that read these forums. It could be that your next inspection will be completely by the book...know what I mean?
Do you 'realize' the inherent problem in this statement? "know what I mean" Wink Wink. That anyone would find it as acceptable and standard practice for the hired staff to be reading their mail and looking over the affairs of their private life. Not mention looking for ways to get me. Is mindbogglingly shortsighted. There are so many instances in history that illustrate that those who permit authority to gather to such an extent are profoundly unhappy with the outcome. And for what, some vague psychological feeling of safety? "He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither". ... Benjamin Franklin. And you will have neither. You/we have options for redressing our grievances. Fail to excersize those options/rights and it won't be long before you'll be awakened in the middle of the night by the ruckus of your neighbors being dragged off, never to be seen again. The framwork has already been laid by all those patriots-acting on your behalf. In the distant past there were Japanese warriors who would enter the battlefield with a picket pin used to stake a horse with, a piece of cord tied to the pin and to their waist. They would drive the pin into the ground and so they would remain, on the battlefield until the end. The question is, where will you drive your picket pin? Do you even have a picket pin? Dramatic? I suppose. Paranoid? Perhaps. Prepared to stand up for my life, liberty and happiness? Most definitely! It's each small event and decision that builds the house or in this case the prison.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:21   #88
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Hydrostatic auto-inflatable PFDs use water pressure to trigger inflation. They won't go off from just being wet.

I wear mine in the rain, including once in a rainy and windy 6-hour sail.
Thank you. I was unaware of that feature being available.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:29   #89
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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But it isn't the fault of that guy or most like him. He had orders
Ok, an unfair quote snapshot (hey, it's the internet ) - but "they" always have orders.........

You don't lose your freedom when the MIB kick down your door - you lose it when you think it a good idea that they stand on the street keeping you safe from "others" (there are always "others" ).

But the good news is that by the time they get around to interfering with your regular life that you actually think it is a good thing . On the upside you usually get a few slogans to chant .
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Old 06-10-2013, 13:04   #90
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Re: Boarded by the Coast Guard..Terminated Voyage

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Originally Posted by rourkeh View Post
Sid, welcome to the United States of Big Brother. The Coast Guard is out inspecting people's life jackets and fire extinguishers whilst 80% of the people operating the boats have no idea what they are doing. They ought to consider implementing an operators requirement before allowing people to captain a vessel. Almost all of the accidents occur because of a complete lack of experience, not for want of a good life jacket. But in typical American fashion the boat manufacturers lobby in D.C. will not address the real problem because if you made all the yahoos who want to own a boat prove they had the ability and experience to SAFELY captain a vessel no one would bother buying a boat. In the mean time you get a bunch of pimple faced kids in rubber boats running around "checking" everyone. Your best bet is get the hell out of the U.S.A. and go somewhere less ridiculous.
I think your estimate of 80% is just a tad wild. I can't recall meeting any boater in the US or Canada who has no interest in learning and improving his skill level. We take pride in voluntary training and generally abhor any gov't. regulation in recreational boating. Despite these occasional annoyances with being boarded, I for one, will continue to take pride and enjoy my sailing in the USA and Canada.
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