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Old 04-12-2009, 10:15   #106
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I was boarded once. It was a training exercise. They put a cratch on the hull topsides and black shoe scuffs all over the cockpit and foredeck. I was as nice and curtious as can be but was still treated like a criminal. They were all youger than my son and did not seem to have too much respect for citizens.
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:11   #107
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been boarded half doz times, but the funniest was by the mex navy in 2000...off the yucatan coast in 8 footers, we were dogged by a 100 ft steel navy ship for hours..when they told us to stop (in spanish), we pretended we didn't understand..after 1/2 hr of this the skipper must have found his dictionary because he said in halting english "stop..or we will shoot you".. that got our attention but when he wanted to raft up we put our foot down and made them launch the inflatible..when they got to the swim platform the 1st guy fell into the water (w/ full combat gear incl ak-47) and sunk like a stone.. his buddies were deer in the headlights so i reachd down and grabbed him by the collar..when they boarded, one went up on the bridge where my very p.o.'d wife was driving and the rest of us went inside..after a minute or so, i noticed my wife turned the boat so we would catch beam seas, the main man turned green and yelled " andale---let's scram... after the headed out we had a great laugh..
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Old 31-07-2011, 11:06   #108
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Re: Have You Been Boarded? Searched?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ[COLOR=black
Needless to say we seem to get by pretty well where some particular people have trouble in every port they go to![/COLOR]
This is exactly my belief about our ability to create our experience. It is far more than just perspective. It is what you choose to have in your life. If you say things like "knowing my luck...(something bad will happen)" you will get exactly that kind of negative result.
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Old 31-07-2011, 11:41   #109
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Re: Have You Been Boarded ? Searched ?

Yep, been boarded twice in the Great Lakes. I found them to be courteous, very thorough on ID and they only checked for the simple things (lifejackets etc.). They did not check my propane storage locker which I found surprising and when I suggested that was something they should consider doing in the future their response was I should contact my congressman! Weird.
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Old 31-07-2011, 12:07   #110
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Re: Have You Been Boarded ? Searched ?

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
If you sail on an international body of water (be it lake or sea) then there's no way for them to know if you've been abroad or not.
FWIW, I was told a story at my old dock in Miami about a US sailor who traveled to Cuba awhile back. He was stopped and boarded by the USCG on his way home. When asked if he had been in Cuban waters, the sailor denied it, at which point the Coasties presented satellite images of his boat leaving the Hemingway marina in Havana! Have no way of knowing if this is really true, but it wouldn't surprise me that the Feds are keeping a close watch on the Fla. Straights for a number of pretty obvious reasons.

Back to the 4th Amend. issues, I suppose it comes down to the word "unreasonable." I haven't researched it but I suspect there is a lot of historical precedent that has allowed for these boardings over the past couple of centuries which may make them "reasonable" as a legal matter and therefore not contingent on probable cause, etc. I'm not sure where the authority comes from for local marine law enforcement, however. Anybody been stopped and/or boarded by local police for routine safety/head inspections, etc.?
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Old 22-08-2011, 11:06   #111
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Re: Have You Been Boarded ? Searched ?

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Originally Posted by defever View Post
been boarded half doz times, but the funniest was by the mex navy in 2000...off the yucatan coast in 8 footers, we were dogged by a 100 ft steel navy ship for hours..when they told us to stop (in spanish), we pretended we didn't understand..after 1/2 hr of this the skipper must have found his dictionary because he said in halting english "stop..or we will shoot you".. that got our attention but when he wanted to raft up we put our foot down and made them launch the inflatible..when they got to the swim platform the 1st guy fell into the water (w/ full combat gear incl ak-47) and sunk like a stone.. his buddies were deer in the headlights so i reachd down and grabbed him by the collar..when they boarded, one went up on the bridge where my very p.o.'d wife was driving and the rest of us went inside..after a minute or so, i noticed my wife turned the boat so we would catch beam seas, the main man turned green and yelled " andale---let's scram... after the headed out we had a great laugh..
Sounds like you were being non-compliant and offering passive resistance. Lucky that the siduation didn't escalate. Poorly trained boarding team with language barriers, armed and in personal danger. A recipie for disaster.
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Old 22-08-2011, 11:26   #112
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Old 22-08-2011, 12:07   #113
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Re: Have You Been Boarded ? Searched ?

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Originally Posted by Liam Wald View Post
I was boarded once. It was a training exercise. They put a cratch on the hull topsides and black shoe scuffs all over the cockpit and foredeck. I was as nice and curtious as can be but was still treated like a criminal. They were all youger than my son and did not seem to have too much respect for citizens.
The USCG has taken to using pleasure boaters as "training exercises" (treating them as if they were terrorists and/or smugglers) with out there knowledge or consent, though if is permission is asked and denied it is treated as "probable cause". On the page next to my ships papers I have a copy of the USCG boarding procedure, just so I know what they are and are not supposed to do.
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Old 22-08-2011, 13:45   #114
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Got boarded by the Indian Navy in the Andaman Islands (Indian Ocean) once. Quite funny actually. They had a tick sheet of things they were obviously supposed to check. The conversation went something along the lines of:

(bear in mind there was 3 of us and 2 cats on an old beat up Roberts 36ft steely)

How many cannon? - er..none
How many stowaways? er.. none
How many died at sea?..er none
Show me your engine room ... er...it's under that step
What is your cargo?...er..we don't have any
You don't have any cargo?...er.. no...
Do you have any livestock?..er no..
You have cats....yes, we have cats
They are not livestock?... I'm not sure, I don't think so
Then you will need a monkey permit.....a what? What for?
The cats. If your cats aren't livestock they require a monkey permit
OK, the cats are livestock then...

And so it went on; 3 of us and 3 of them squashed around a tiny table in the cabin until they had gone through their list. We signed it, they signed it and then with all serious said; "You will need a copy, do you have a photocopier"
Thank you for the best belly laugh I have had sense I got home from a 6 month "tour" in India. I know it went down just as you described. I prey for those people every day and wish them the best..........but damn
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Old 22-08-2011, 17:20   #115
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Re: Have You Been Boarded ? Searched ?

Very interesting thread. We have been boarded many times, USCG, USN, Mexican, Costa Rican, Cuban, and others. Usually routine as we always smile and welcome them on board, thanking the boarding party for looking out for our safety. 1990 we sailed nonstop from Panama to Mobile, Alabama since the sailing was perfect and no need to stop. We checked in with the Mobile USCG by VHF when about five miles out. They asked the typical questions and where we were going. We had arrangements with a marina on Dog River, so they said they would meet us there. They did help us tie up and came aboard, USCG, DEA & Customs. We were totally compliant. They took the drug sniffer dog below, then let him roam the boat. He went up on deck, laid down and went to sleep. The dog handler stated that was the best drug sniffer they had and if he laid down, we must be okay. They all left apologizing for taking our time.

We roamed around the Caribbean from 1993 to 1995, enjoying pre-chavez Venezuela for about nine months. We made some local friends and ending up as paid crew on a wealthy Venezuelan's 83' Berger power yacht taking it back to Ft. Lauderdale for maintenance. No inspections at all any country on that big boat. A few months later the owner called and asked if we would like to deliver his son's 44' sloop back to the USA so he could sell it. Arrangements were made and we flew from Trinidad back to Caracas. I spent an entire week preparing the boat for the trip, also conducting a thorough search to be certain there was no contraband hidden. I dove the bottom looking for abnormalities. The owner was one of the wealthiest men in Venezuela, but I do not trust anyone. He had bought the boat in the USA, American builder, (Nordic, I think), but not wanting to pay VZ import duties had flagged it in Aruba, so we were flying the Dutch flag.

The boarding occurred in the passage between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola by the US Navy in the middle of the night. I always take the first watch, then my wife relieves me about midnight. I had just gotten to sleep when she called me, "There is a big ship trailing us and calling on the VHF." I talked to them, answering questions, bound from, bound to, registry, citizenship of the crew,, etc. Red Flag ! Two Americans, sailing a Dutch flagged boat, returning to the USA? As a former active duty US Marine,I welcomed the Navy aboard, 4 young sailors on a RIB, with big seas left over and no wind. We were rolling gunnel to gunnel, but they managed to get aboard with their weapons. Two asked us to go below with them and answer questions, which we willingly did. After about 5 minutes the young sailors were turning green and looking very distressed, so they asked the other two to come below and they went on deck for fresh air. This crew lasted about 3 minutes before the became green. I offered them a beer . They were about ready to puke, called their vessel and said we were okay and could they return to their ship. As the RIB sped away, two of them were hanging over the side barfing. I called the ship and complimenting them on their diligence, protecting our safety in international waters and requested they do future inspections while I was on watch. No reply.

After visiting friends in the Bahamas, we sailed right into Ft Lauderdale with no inspection. We had to take our ships papers, etc. to Customs. That was also amusing as the ships papers were in Dutch. The %#@@! female agent was an arrogant alpha hotel who was just not pleasant. Later I wrote her up.
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