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Old 27-03-2010, 21:38   #91
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If I were the Boarding officer, I would be rather concerned that a vessel chose to endanger my crew after being asked to heave to......that establishes probable cause....kinda like trying to drive away after a traffic stop.

Why some people think their vessels are inviolate is beyond me.

Oh well go your merry way in peace. In SE Asia
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Old 27-03-2010, 21:57   #92
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If I were the Boarding officer, I would be rather concerned...
That's funny. The boarding officer is so inexperienced, it's a training mission anyway, that they have no idea what is happening or what to do. It's not dangerous, it is sickening to the inexperienced. I bet to CO back on the mothership is watching, knowing, and laughing....

If they're looking for 40 refugees, 100 rocket launchers, or 40,000 tons of opium, they picked the wrong ship...sheesh...I'd be helping them do their job.

Besides, I always inform them before they board that it's too dangerous. After all crossing seas in short-handed small craft is dangerous, right?
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Old 27-03-2010, 22:05   #93
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What ever

I quit

You are right

Good Night
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Old 27-03-2010, 22:55   #94
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I've heard this trick which can work in some conditions. (Sorry multihulls) Let them board, your bow to weather. Then turn to take the seas on the beam. The captain that used this trick said the CG left after a minute on their knees. Wimps.
I believe it is an attempt to make green gilled sailors sea sick. Being in a confined space with your head in the bilges on a yawing sail boat is not what a Coastie would enjoy.
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Old 27-03-2010, 23:10   #95
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I welcome any boarding of USCG and other LEGAL Law Enforcement Agencies. Anyone else comes on, they be 'Feedin da Fishes'!
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Old 27-03-2010, 23:52   #96
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Chief, it is interesting to see that URL carries a DHS logo on the page. And the page says "The Coast Guard is the primary maritime law enforcement agency of the government. "

Which is only a half truth. The USCG is uniquely a dual-role agency. It is an administrative agency during normal times, and a MILITARY FORCE under DOD, not DHS, during time of war.

What the USCG can legally do, depends on whether they are assigned to DHS or DOD at the time. A military force cannot be deployed within the US against US citizens except by special presidential directive, as per the amended "Posse Comitatus Act" 10 USC 333, that was snuck into a defense appropriations budget a couple of years ago. (More complicated weasel words and earmarks.)

And despite a number of press reports to the contrary, as far as I can tell the US is not at war, and has not been at war since the last formal declaration of war (WW2).

I'd bet a lot of overworked and underpaid guys in the USCG would rather serve one master, whichever one that might be.

But the best boarding conversation I've yet heard involved a transfer of VIPs from a large RIB to a VIP 60+ footer during fleet week. From the RIB: We are coming alongside and will tie up...
"OK, but the owners just spent $xxxxxx having this hull refinished in drydock and we'd really prefer you come bow-to and ask them to step across. If you scuff the hull, the owers are not going to be happy."

They came bow-to, and made the VIPs hop up. Like most Coasties I've met, they had no problem superceding the SOPs with common sense.
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Old 28-03-2010, 13:20   #97
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Old 28-03-2010, 13:54   #98
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They have all the tools, now they get to do all the work!
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Old 28-03-2010, 20:54   #99
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I have no problem with LEGAL law enforcement agencies...what I do have a problem with is when legal law enforcement agencies over step their bounds and perform illegal searches. doing more than they are supposed to, possibly putting me, my boat and crew at risk..this is not just a hypothetical/conspiracy theory concern.

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I welcome any boarding of USCG and other LEGAL Law Enforcement Agencies. Anyone else comes on, they be 'Feedin da Fishes'!
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Old 28-03-2010, 22:09   #100
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You do realize that

The men in the blue helmets and black helos now have all the information they need to detain you and your crew an ship you off to....to.....Camp Gordtanamo


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I have no problem with LEGAL law enforcement agencies...what I do have a problem with is when legal law enforcement agencies over step their bounds and perform illegal searches. doing more than they are supposed to, possibly putting me, my boat and crew at risk..this is not just a hypothetical/conspiracy theory concern.
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Old 05-04-2010, 22:27   #101
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All kidding aside, Sailor954, pretty much summed it up. Now-a-days, due to terrorist and drug smuggling, the USCG can and does stop and board/inspect any vessel from any country anywhere in the world - if they can catch you. Even more basic - they have the big cannons onboard along with lots of automatic weapons and have been known to fire on foreign flagged vessels trying to avoid being stopped for inspection.
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Old 05-04-2010, 23:16   #102
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To do an all out search the USCG has to have some pretty compelling evidence as far as drug smuggling, terrorist activity etc otherwise what they are allowed to do is pretty limited "safety & seaworthiness" safety items, papers, basic seaworthiness and a "hands off look see". Though.....if they were to be performing an "anti-terrorist training exercise" they would have no limitations and could treat you and your boat like suspected terrorists. Technically you do not have to comply if asked if you want to participate in a drill voluntarily (albeit it under duress/intimidation), but if you decline they can call it a "combative attitude" and do it anyway.
If the US Army came knocking at your door and said they wanted to perform anti-terrorist training in your living room would you let them in. If a member of law enforcement came to your house and you said they needed a warrant...they couldn't use that as grounds to get a warrant or break down your door. There are places in both the US Constitution and Maritime law to prevent this sort of stuff. If the USCG wants to flex it's muscle, let it to it at the "bad guys" and if they need more training they shouldn't be using unwilling civilians.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:00   #103
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Why some people think their vessels are inviolate is beyond me.

My vessel IS inviolate...by a foreign government in international waters.
I was harrassed by the USCG in the southern Carribean a couplke of years ago. I was sailing from Martinique to Bonaire and was about 300 miles north of Venuzuela at the time and was first shadowed by a USCG cutter in and out of a rainstorm then contacted over vhf and made to answer all sorts of intrusive questions like who was on board, their names and DOB's, where we were going and where we had been and why were we doing what we were doing.
I answered all the questions but I got more and more pissed off while I was doing it. I CERTAINLY would NOT have given permission for them to board me and the radio operator knew I was getting pissed off. I am a NZ flagged vessel in international waters over 2000 miles from the US neither going to nor from the US or anywhere near it. Who the F$%CK do they think they are harrassing me like that?????
They have NO jurisdiction at all....NONE!!!

What I would have done (and I still would do now!!) if they had tried to board is put out a MAYDAY on the SSB and asked for any military (Venezuela at the time!) in the area to intervene. I would say clearly that I was being attacked by military from a foreign government and required immediate assistance. I wonder what response that would have elicited?
I have heard of that being done before and the USCG back right off because of the potential publicity.

For the record they must have passed my info to the Dutch CG on Bonaire because they made a big show of coming into the mooring field and "searching boats for drugs" and guess what...out of about 70 boats moored there ONLY mine was searched. The USCG can kiss my you know what!!
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:20   #104
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I think one problem might be that the US authorities (possibly reflecting the current attitude among US citizens?) are far too paranoid. How come the countries very much closer to the "terrorist nations" and the "drug nations" have less militant attitudes and so much less fear? How come areas with lots of different countries have so much less controls? Is the mandate for the USCG (in addition to saving lives etc!) that they should behave like psychopaths?

Two years ago I sailed from Turkey to Norway via The Black Sea, the rivers Danube and Rhine to Norway. This means crossing the borders of Turkey, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. 13 different countries and more border crossings. We had an inspection once by the Greek military, which is rumored to be overly "active" like the US officials are. But they were very polite and asked for permission to inspect, even though we entered from Turkey (the two have a long history of hostility and even wars) very late in the night, were less than 1 mile from the island of Chios and flew a Turkish guest flag. Their enquiry is easily understandable.

A problem with some officials is that they tend to see themselves as the good guys no matter what level of exaggerated power misuse they were to employ. The more extreme cases will of course conflict strongly with common sense of what is just, fair or decent. If such measures are taken on any yacht without really strong indications of a good reason, no matter where you are, I'd feel a wish to kill, but in real life want to bring those officials to court (and do just that!). I would be an extremely hostile and difficult host if it was my boat. Making them seasick would be a pleasure!

On the other hand, CG personnel are just people, and like anyone, they want their life as good as reasonably possible. In all countries of the world you'll find officials that find pleasure in being assholes, but most people learn quickly that life is SOOO much easier with politeness and a friendly attitude. I have never been boarded at sea by the USCG, but have by a few other nationalities, on entering their territorial waters, like the one mentioned above. They have behaved 100% correct and friendly.

But there is a problem. The boat that I sailed while being boarded by the Greek, is an old and extremely sturdy monohull. 40 foot and 20 metric tonnes. The military guys asked for permission from the deck of the mother ship (dead calm seas) but went into a rather large RIB to board. They handled it like pros, but they rather crashed it into our side, like they would with a big ship. RIBs don't really need fenders, but it did actually make a scratch. If I had been on one of the ultra light, ultra fragile racer multis I often have been, the hull sides would have been properly damaged. I doubt they would have seen the need for a different approach. I doubt that they understand that a scratch can occur and that it matters. They're used to different standards.

And worse: Alarmingly many in coast guards are partly incompetent at handling small boats. They may be pros, but it's often the newbies that go in the small boat. Maybe seamen, but far from boaties. Clumsy at best. In a seaway they can make a lot of totally unnecessary real damage, which I have also experienced, twice, in different contexts. If Coast Guards want to deal with yachts, they need to learn how to do it right. Behaviour wise and boat handling wise. Most are probably quite good, but when stepping into someones home, which is that persons "castle", quite good is definitely not enough. Perfect is enough. If that's too hard to achieve, go do something important instead, like looking at places where crime occurs in a volume that makes a difference.
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:10   #105
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Fascinating thread.
I am an American, a Vietnam era veteran (Coast Guard cutter in the far western Pacific) and the proud father of a Navy Medic serving the Marines in Helmand in the “Ghan”. I chose long ago to “leave it” rather than “love it” as crudely and repeatedly suggested by many of my countrymen who didn’t appreciate my surly attitude on returning from hell on earth – early 70’s SE Asia. Still, it’s my birth country and home to most of my family. The recent erosions in what I believe is the clear intent of the Constitution of the United States grow daily more alarming to me. I can’t support any of it, and I take every opportunity to criticize it, but when coming and going, peacefully and unarmed, into and out of the US of A, and when dealing with its agents, peacefully and unarmed, anywhere in the world (or, again peacefully and unarmed, with anyone armed with automatic weapons anywhere, for that matter), I take a very deferential posture. I learned the hard way during my rebellious youth not to prod a tiger when in his cage.
Rightly or wrongly, and regardless of international law and the US Constitution, they can and do (can, not may) board whatever vessel they please, wherever they please, and whenever they please.
That being said, my single experience, in international waters between Texas and the Caribbean a few years, back wasn’t too unpleasant. The young “Coasties” were adept at handling their RIB and very polite, as my long ago service with them would have predicted. Initially, in commenting on the Arabic calligraphy of our catamaran’s name, Masalama (loosely translated, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”) proudly displayed beside the English version and our hailing port, the Saudi Arabia courtesy flag on one spreader pennant and our Bob Marley flag on the other, and Sister Carol East (we prefer her to Bob Marley during Coast Guard boardings),
they might have been a little less than amused, but in time, and after realizing my status as Lt. Cdr., USCG, Honorably Discharged, we actually got a chuckle or two out of them. Maybe this happened after they caught a glimpse of the two lovely young chicks aboard, and the other still pretty hot 50(+) y/o, who is my Admiral, I don’t really know. Anyway, after ascertaining the absence of any obvious contraband, stowaways, or weapons, and accepting our innocent outward appearance, they departed, leaving not even a single smudge on our shiny topsides.

So, “love it or leave it”, it’s regrettably all part of the 21st Century USA, a pitiful and tattered remnant of the great pre-World War II country of my birth, and an unavoidable aspect of the offshore life. My suggestion - take it for what it is, a part of something we must endure in our(?) quest to constantly acknowledge that, “The worst day sailing offshore is better than the best day in a chair on the beach.”
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