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Old 02-12-2009, 14:38   #76
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Governments will use any excuse they can to justify obtaining more powers.
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Old 02-12-2009, 14:58   #77
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The drinking issue is huge in the Uk right now; and I was an avid follower of the Dinius case which raised more questions than it answered.

A lot of people consider that the open ocean is one of the few places left for doing what you want to do and that is self regulated and free (to some extent)

Interestingly, a per pro the US experiences on here, when I was stopped and searched in Ramsgate following a cross channel excursion to France I returned to the boat with 3 tins of Budweiser in a bag and one in my hand from which I was drinking-my offer of a tin to HM Customs was politely refused

They were not interested in me , only where I had been and what (drugs alcohol tobacco) was on the boat - 0- bit of a lumpy crossing , smokes destroyed on route

BUT with nothing found they were still a bit agressive and I eventually had to give them the ultimatum to "take us in" or let us go because I did not want to cross the Thames Estuary back to Ipswich at night if it could be avoided

So we went home! AND

2 weeks later on a lunch outing (fish and chips in Southwold 25 miles north Ipswich)- think sleepy English coastal town mid week out of season,, we get stopped again , real SAS stuff balaclavas, ear pieces etc followed us in from the mother ship, transmissions "boat secured"? went through the GPS , clothing and a few cans of beer.........

so says I phone your pals in Ramsgate;

their response- in this boat you will be asked to smuggle; no says I- a lawyer, do not need to rip off anyone else

-their response- here's a key ring with our number so you can inform.

thank you , lets go have some fish and chips

now I do not have a problem with these guys doing their job but this experience seems to have been a foreunner to a lot of belligerent behaviour which is now the subject of debate on UK forums; in a way like every thing else pick on the easy targets
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Old 02-12-2009, 15:03   #78
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I've been boarded once here on the Cheaspeake some years back. After folowing the boat for about 5 minutes, the coast guard told me to maintain course and prepare to be boarded. Three question they asked: Where were you sailing from...where are you sailing to...and do you have any weapons aboard? No mention about drugs. It was in moderate conditions so boarding was very easy with the 40 ft coast guard cutter pulling along side while 2 people came aboard. There was some sort of cannon mounted on the bow of that boat with a person behind it peering down at me as it dropped the two officers aboard. The commander went below with me following and as we decended the campanionway stairs I noticed that his pistol was such that if I was a drug runner I could have grabed it out of the hoster and held him. I figured it was a training mission, but thought better of making any recommendation as to improve their technique on boarding. They were polite and did a good safety inspection even asking to see such things as code of safety regulations which I just happen to have aboard. Not sure if they would have sited me for not having that aboard, but I was glad I had everything they wanted to see. When they finished they gave me a piece of paper showing that I had been boarded and that may help in keeping another inspection from happening in the future.

While I'm at it, there is an interesting story that a friend told about boarding while on a sailboat race off the eastern seaboard going I think from Annapolis to Newport? It was at night and he was at the helm and all of a sudden an inflatable with coast guard makings comes out of nowhere and requests a boarding. This he refused saying that he has no proof that they are indeed coast guard. They argue that they have a coast guard marking on their inflatable, but he contents that is not sufficient. Where are your ID badges he yells. They leave and only some 10 minutes later return with the badges. He is still not satisfied and asks that the mother ship switches on her lights so that he can confirm that this is really the coast guard. After some radio back and forth conversations with the mother ship, the lights come on and he tells them it's now OK to board. However by this time they don't even bother and apparently have determined that he is in the race and there is really no reason to board. I thought they might have been put off by his refusal to board and would conduct a very harsh inspection, but that was not the case and they just wished him well with the race.
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Old 02-12-2009, 15:36   #79
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What is "the code of safety regulations"? Not aware of this....
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Old 02-12-2009, 15:38   #80
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We have freedom of unreasonable search and seizure yet the CG can board and search anyone on the water without probable cause. How did this happen?
The trouble is you never had it. The USCG are military not police. There is no argument about the freedoms you actually have, just the ones you want to think you lost. You can be detained by the USCG without probable cause. It's a power they have always had. They don't tend to use it that often. Personally, I've always found them to be exceptionally polite unlike many local marine police.
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Old 02-12-2009, 15:44   #81
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Were we to eliminate both drunk and stupid the boating public would be exceptionally safe.
And sparse (from my current perspective here in South Florida)

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Old 02-12-2009, 15:44   #82
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He (Or she) who has the guns makes the rules.
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Old 02-12-2009, 15:45   #83
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I was boarded many years ago off north Florida. I had lost my engine in the Georgia ICW, so was running offshore to Ft Lauderdale- no lights, at night, when I saw a ship's range lights lined up on me. Naturally I changed course, but they re-aligned- not wanting to be run down I jibed and ran off, etc. Next a spotlight came on and I was told to stand by for boarding. After awhile a launch appeared nearly the size of my 40' yawl. Being quite choppy, I asked them who would pay when they stove in my topside. They yelled back that the Coast Guard would and proceeded to come alongside and got 3 aboard, but the fourth ended up hanging from the lifelines, being dunked by the roll. The launch then tried to come back in till we screamed to back down and got the guy aboard. With one on the stern with a rifle, they proceeded to do a "courtesy check", even going through the bags of garbage we were saving for port. They left damp and dissapointed, I'm sure they thought they had a live one, acting so suspiciously.
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Old 02-12-2009, 15:59   #84
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Paul,
At no point was I ever criticizing the USCG, to the contrary my experience with them has found them to be the most professional of all, and I for one am damn glad they are there. And I am well aware that they have the authority to board my vessel at any time and for any reason. Their power comes from Maritime law with the charge is to protect our coasts, to protect maritime commerce and to protect US flagged vessels, a mission they perform admirably.
My beef is with the local law enforcement agencies, the DEA to some extent, and the abuse of our rights and freedoms by them. AND the government, Federal, State and Local, that enacted these laws that have trampled our rights and freedoms under the guise of “keeping us safe”. Perusing these pages in CF and other forums this is not a phenomena particular to Lake Erie, but widespread throughout the US.
Sorry if I hijacked this thread, but I feel the most atrocious abuses of boarding powers are here at home, not abroad.
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Old 02-12-2009, 16:26   #85
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My beef is with the local law enforcement agencies, the DEA to some extent, and the abuse of our rights and freedoms by them. AND the government, Federal, State and Local, that enacted these laws that have trampled our rights and freedoms under the guise of “keeping us safe”.
Do you think you could redirect your rant at them and not here and spare us the trouble. This sounds too much like politics. We don't tend to want that here. Boating is actually more than enough for one forum. Try Oprah she only has a few shows left.
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Old 02-12-2009, 16:34   #86
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We have freedom of unreasonable search and seizure yet the CG can board and search anyone on the water without probable cause. How did this happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
The trouble is you never had it. The USCG are military not police. There is no argument about the freedoms you actually have, just the ones you want to think you lost. You can be detained by the USCG without probable cause. It's a power they have always had. They don't tend to use it that often. Personally, I've always found them to be exceptionally polite unlike many local marine police.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution
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Old 02-12-2009, 17:12   #87
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You can be detained by the USCG without probable cause. It's a power they have always had. They don't tend to use it that often.
We watch USCG operating early in the summer continuously detaining law abiding boaters. As soon as they finish with one they stop the next one coming along. It seems, based on my experience and on reported experiences in other threads in this forum they use their power to detain without warrant fairly often.
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Old 02-12-2009, 18:13   #88
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Try Oprah she only has a few shows left.
Wow Paul, that was witty, or half so anyway. Not an Oprah watcher myself, but if you enjoy her views go for it. And I have, and will, support your right to do so. But get your head out of the sand; it is attitudes like yours that has resulted in the erosion of our civil liberties.

This thread was about being boarded. Read the prior posts, the fact is the vast majority of responses were about boardings by the USCG, DEA or local law enforcement in costal US waters! And from what I read their only “crime” was being someplace that the boarding agency was at the same time. Most of the respondents reported the USCG was professional; almost unanimously the others were not. Did you read Melanie Neale’s account of her folks encounter traveling back to the US from the Bahamas? The account reported on here of the individual arrested for rowing his dingy to his moored boat while under the influence? Who was he harming? Is this the kind of behavior we now accept from those that are charged to protect AND SERVE?

No, in retrospect this is not a political rant. It is a rant about people that have accepted that afloat we abrogate our Fourth Amendment rights. Be careful, the next right you give back might be the one you cherish the most. All in the name of keeping you “safe”.
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Old 02-12-2009, 20:24   #89
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We have been cruising for 20 years or more, have sailed 35,000 miles and been to 35 countries. We have been boarded twice in international waters, both times by the USCG. Once was off Nicauragua after we had reported via our Ham Radio a suspicious
ponga circling our boat 85 miles off the coast. The next day a USCG cutter hailed us and boarded for a quick inspection. They were very professional and courteous. They also boarded two other sailboats we were cruising with at the time. We were boarded 10 years later while on our way to the Dominican Republic, again very professional and courteous.
As far as check-ins go, officials in Costa Rica came aboard with a quick look over, officials in Gibraltor checked us out and in India. Never have we had a problem with officials, not even a bribe.
We welcome officials aboard, offer tea or water and usually have a nice visit.
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Old 02-12-2009, 20:24   #90
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What a Difference!

I couldn't help but notice the huge difference between this thread & the Yachting FAIL - Jessica Watson thread.

There it's you can't stop a 15 year old from sailing, it's all about freedom!! while the sentiment here seems a bit different.

I am more than a little disturbed by the recent trend of security forces to dress & act like secret police. America seems bent on adding more security, law enforcement & legislation in the interest of "security".

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."- Benjamin Franklin

As for "safety", common sense cannot be legislated, nor enforced. The only cure for stupidity is death.

I do not have an issue with the Coast Guard occassionally boarding someone for a random safety check, nor do I have a problem with Law enforcement boarding suspicious vessels along known smuggling routes. It seems to me that some agencies have gone far beyond this however, & that is something I do have a problem with.
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