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Old 23-05-2008, 05:13   #1
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Coast Guard Tour/Hassle

USCG Station Oak Island, NC does tours on Wed. from 10-2. We got together with another boat and decided to go over for a look-see.

The first thing the CG officer does is lower his voice and begin to tell us of the Homeland Security threats and how we should report anything...anything....he was adamant on the anything part. He stressed boats anchoring ouside of designated anchorages (ummm, c'mon), any boat stopped under a bridge (popular among the fishermen), how important our job is as citizen patrols to inform them of anything suspicious (he wasn't a McCarthy but close...) His voice never raised above a whisper through this part...like Osama was listening behind the basketball court...
We went out to look at their boats and he stressed repeatedly no pictures...too much classified, sensitive stuff. He could not even disclose
1) the caliber of the weapon on the CG RIB's
2) the speed of the RIB
3) fuel consumption

They did take us into the central control room with the radios, VHF tracking (they can tell exactly where you are on any call on 16, they did make sure to tell us that...and they said (I don't know to believe or not) that if you have a GPS onboard they can get your position in less than 5 seconds and track you by it...I thought it was a reciever not a sender, wrong word, I know but it is 6am)

And to top it off...here is as direct of a quote as the 4 of us can remember...
"Everything has changed since 911. No one is safe anywhere, it used tobe you could leave your doors open and unlocked but the terrorists changed everything."
Ummm, I think he meant 1953 when you could leave things unlocked.

We've been laughing ourselves silly... what's for dinner? oh, I can't tell you that, it is sensitive information.
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Old 23-05-2008, 05:23   #2
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What a shame. Thanks for sharing that with us. So they are just another military wing now, with a side duty of helping mariners in distress?

The VHF tracking makes sense, but the GPS tracking seems to be utter garbage. I'm not sure why he would tell you something like that except to scare you?

GPS's definitely don't send out information on your position. What a load. Makes you wonder if other things he said were true.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Holding Pattern View Post
USCG Station Oak Island, NC does tours on Wed. from 10-2. We got together with another boat and decided to go over for a look-see.

The first thing the CG officer does is lower his voice and begin to tell us of the Homeland Security threats and how we should report anything...anything....he was adamant on the anything part. He stressed boats anchoring ouside of designated anchorages (ummm, c'mon), any boat stopped under a bridge (popular among the fishermen), how important our job is as citizen patrols to inform them of anything suspicious (he wasn't a McCarthy but close...) His voice never raised above a whisper through this part...like Osama was listening behind the basketball court...
We went out to look at their boats and he stressed repeatedly no pictures...too much classified, sensitive stuff. He could not even disclose
1) the caliber of the weapon on the CG RIB's
2) the speed of the RIB
3) fuel consumption

They did take us into the central control room with the radios, VHF tracking (they can tell exactly where you are on any call on 16, they did make sure to tell us that...and they said (I don't know to believe or not) that if you have a GPS onboard they can get your position in less than 5 seconds and track you by it...I thought it was a reciever not a sender, wrong word, I know but it is 6am)

And to top it off...here is as direct of a quote as the 4 of us can remember...
"Everything has changed since 911. No one is safe anywhere, it used tobe you could leave your doors open and unlocked but the terrorists changed everything."
Ummm, I think he meant 1953 when you could leave things unlocked.

We've been laughing ourselves silly... what's for dinner? oh, I can't tell you that, it is sensitive information.
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Old 23-05-2008, 05:25   #3
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Old 23-05-2008, 05:29   #4
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The VHF thing is b#llocks. They can get a bearing on the signal and can then triangulate it from another station / ship (if in range).

Mobile Telephones? Yes. It's like walking around with a mobile tracking device...with records.
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Old 23-05-2008, 06:06   #5
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The VHF track screen showed the beacons at Cape Fear, Wrightsville Beach, and I think Wilmington...it was amazing to watch the blue/reg/green lines intersect whenever the VHF squawked... there were at least 3 simultaneous tracks but, of course, they couldn't tell us how many they could track at once.

I have nothing against the Coasties and every experience (so far, knock on teak) has been positive, ok, the broken down nuclear sub under tow was a bit weird but I don't think they practiced that very much... so I've nothing against them, per se, but how much Lawn Enforcement do we need? (I know the typeo and I left it because it made me laugh...cops on lawn mowers...)
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Old 23-05-2008, 06:36   #6
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I tend to give a lot of lee way to people who, run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out.

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Old 23-05-2008, 07:03   #7
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I tend to give a lot of lee way to people who, run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out.
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I also ....
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:15   #8
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Good chance the GPS info was actually talking about if your VHF and GPS were connected and you had the MMIS, DSC enabled. With this system any boat similarly equipped can key a message and get a return of the id's of near by boats. It is intended as a safety factor but it can probably be missed used as almost any other system can.

Personally I don't mind seeing a Coast Guard ship off the rails, they do a hell of a job in difficult circumstances in both safety and law enforcement.
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:20   #9
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Maybe what he meant as far as tracking you by gps was a reference to having your gps hooked up to a DSC VHF radio. If you make a DSC emergency call your position is automatically sent.

John

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holding Pattern View Post
USCG Station Oak Island, NC does tours on Wed. from 10-2. We got together with another boat and decided to go over for a look-see.

The first thing the CG officer does is lower his voice and begin to tell us of the Homeland Security threats and how we should report anything...anything....he was adamant on the anything part. He stressed boats anchoring ouside of designated anchorages (ummm, c'mon), any boat stopped under a bridge (popular among the fishermen), how important our job is as citizen patrols to inform them of anything suspicious (he wasn't a McCarthy but close...) His voice never raised above a whisper through this part...like Osama was listening behind the basketball court...
We went out to look at their boats and he stressed repeatedly no pictures...too much classified, sensitive stuff. He could not even disclose
1) the caliber of the weapon on the CG RIB's
2) the speed of the RIB
3) fuel consumption

They did take us into the central control room with the radios, VHF tracking (they can tell exactly where you are on any call on 16, they did make sure to tell us that...and they said (I don't know to believe or not) that if you have a GPS onboard they can get your position in less than 5 seconds and track you by it...I thought it was a reciever not a sender, wrong word, I know but it is 6am)

And to top it off...here is as direct of a quote as the 4 of us can remember...
"Everything has changed since 911. No one is safe anywhere, it used tobe you could leave your doors open and unlocked but the terrorists changed everything."
Ummm, I think he meant 1953 when you could leave things unlocked.

We've been laughing ourselves silly... what's for dinner? oh, I can't tell you that, it is sensitive information.
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Old 23-05-2008, 07:31   #10
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When I was stopped entering Miami. They told me which cut I came through from the Bahamas, and at what time??????????????? BIG BROTHER....LOLOLOLOLOL
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Old 23-05-2008, 08:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holding Pattern View Post
......They did take us into the central control room with the radios, VHF tracking (they can tell exactly where you are on any call on 16, they did make sure to tell us that....
They probably didn't tell you that every radio has a unique "fingerprint" in the first initial milliseconds of a transmission. If the transmission is recorded on a quality recorder, this "fingerprint" can be analysed and be used to identify that radio at a later date. This is not intentionally coded into the transmitter, rather it is the manner in which the transmitter fires up from 0 Hz to its channel frequency when it is keyed and is due to slight variations of component values in the transmitter circuit (especially the filters).
Maybe this technique is a bit too sophiscated for domestic policing but it certainly was used during the cold war. Who knows what happens now.
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Old 23-05-2008, 10:32   #12
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Quote:
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And to top it off...here is as direct of a quote as the 4 of us can remember...
"Everything has changed since 911. No one is safe anywhere, it used tobe you could leave your doors open and unlocked but the terrorists changed everything."
Ummm, I think he meant 1953 when you could leave things unlocked.

We've been laughing ourselves silly... what's for dinner? oh, I can't tell you that, it is sensitive information.
Why is it that Barney Rubble comes to mind?

I agree with Tempest about giving leeway but you still have to laugh!
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Old 23-05-2008, 10:32   #13
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The Coasties do have multiple RDF receivers in major ports. I would not call it being able to find out exactly where you are, but a half mile accuracy is probably pretty close...depending.

VTS systems have cameras that can pan and zoom anywhere within the system. I ran across a guy who is a VTS radio operator (not sure of his official job title). He said that he had seen my boat out there multiple times. He said just out of a normal part of his job, he watches boats and ships on camera during his watch. So if you are in a major port, you probably are being watched.

Although there are bad guys out there who want to do bad things to us. I think things have gotten a little out of hand. The Coast Guard is a great organization but I think that perhaps the security pendulum has swung a little too far in one direction.
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Old 23-05-2008, 20:53   #14
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If the VHF tracking thing is true, then how come both CG Station Jax and Charleston are putting out a PAN-PAN for a "vessel in distress" that broadcast the distress on VHF ch 16, with "no known location"?
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Old 26-05-2008, 21:53   #15
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My Favorite line was from Private Benjamin...when the DI...obviously trying to speak intelligently to Goldie Hawns character says " ON this grenade practice range there are two types of grenades some are inert and the others are...uh....ERT.

I still get a chuckle over that
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