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Old 17-05-2013, 18:07   #76
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

You think you guys got it bad.

This is from the Transport Canada website:

The law requiring boat operators to carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (or proof of competency) is enforced by peace officers including RCMP, Provincial Police and Conservation Officers (depending on province and/or jurisdiction). The law requires operators of powered watercraft to carry proof of age as well as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (or proof of competency) on board at all times.

This little gem is from my "Safe Boater's" book:

"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), provincial and municipal police forces and other authorized local authorities enforce the laws that apply to boats. They may inspect your boat and monitor your boating activities to make sure the requirements are being met. This may include checking safety equipment, your Pleasure Craft Operator Card and careless operation on the water."

In other words, "We'll board you when we like and there's SFA you can do about it."

Is it any wonder a lot of the cruisers you met out there are Canadian?

One step above old Russia.
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Old 17-05-2013, 19:34   #77
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

My experience over the years of doing deliveries from countries south of the border and as far north as Alaska has been that there are few organizations as professional and accommodating as the USCG off the west coast. I've been boarded about half a dozen times over about 25 years and on every occasion their conduct has been marked by politeness and professionalism. They are also handy to call to get bar conditions in US waters.
My biggest concern was not being thoroughly familiar with everything on board and where it is. For example, if the owner had a stash secreted somewhere that I was not aware of, I could be in trouble. Although many of my deliveries were for brokers, the times I did deliveries for owners always started with the explaination that if there was contraband aboard, they would probably lose their boat. On one occasion, the owner flew down to Mexico to 'cleanse' the boat. On another occasion on a delivery from Mexico, I went through the warning about contraband and was told there was nothing on board to cause a problem. When I got into San Diego and checked in, I called the owner to let him know his boat was back in the US and he asked me to get his 9mm from its' hiding place and send it to him. To say I was pissed is an understatement because being in possession of a firearm, particularly a pistol in Mexico, is automatic jail time. I told he could retrieve it from the bottom of San Diego Bay.
I've never experienced the USCG going beyond the normal safety check and ships doc's review. The downside of refusing them boarding permission for which they always ask, is to face a problem when you hit the port you're headed for IMO, even if it is a foreign port. Phil
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Old 17-05-2013, 20:19   #78
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

"politeness and professionalism."
Generally I'd agree with you. Phil. The SAR lifers certainly are. But with pay often being insufficient to cover local housing costs...I'm not sure how churn and professionalism are affected.
It is good to hear your Coasties will give you bar information but that also may vary. I called into USCG Shinnecock Inlet, which can be a nasty place, to ask one day when slack current was in the inlet after seeing conflicting times. The newb on the phones said they couldn't provide that information, because then they might be held liable if it was incorrect.
Well, at least it wasn't a voice response system and a script reader in Bangalore....
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Old 17-05-2013, 20:34   #79
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

Should have kept the monarchy.
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Old 17-05-2013, 20:36   #80
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_f View Post
You think you guys got it bad.

This is from the Transport Canada website:

The law requiring boat operators to carry a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (or proof of competency) is enforced by peace officers including RCMP, Provincial Police and Conservation Officers (depending on province and/or jurisdiction). The law requires operators of powered watercraft to carry proof of age as well as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (or proof of competency) on board at all times.

This little gem is from my "Safe Boater's" book:

"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), provincial and municipal police forces and other authorized local authorities enforce the laws that apply to boats. They may inspect your boat and monitor your boating activities to make sure the requirements are being met. This may include checking safety equipment, your Pleasure Craft Operator Card and careless operation on the water."

In other words, "We'll board you when we like and there's SFA you can do about it."

Is it any wonder a lot of the cruisers you met out there are Canadian?

One step above old Russia.

it's the same here. Can they go in and check to make sure the pump overboard is incapacitated?
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Old 17-05-2013, 20:38   #81
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
My experience over the years of doing deliveries from countries south of the border and as far north as Alaska has been that there are few organizations as professional and accommodating as the USCG off the west coast. I've been boarded about half a dozen times over about 25 years and on every occasion their conduct has been marked by politeness and professionalism. They are also handy to call to get bar conditions in US waters.
My biggest concern was not being thoroughly familiar with everything on board and where it is. For example, if the owner had a stash secreted somewhere that I was not aware of, I could be in trouble. Although many of my deliveries were for brokers, the times I did deliveries for owners always started with the explaination that if there was contraband aboard, they would probably lose their boat. On one occasion, the owner flew down to Mexico to 'cleanse' the boat. On another occasion on a delivery from Mexico, I went through the warning about contraband and was told there was nothing on board to cause a problem. When I got into San Diego and checked in, I called the owner to let him know his boat was back in the US and he asked me to get his 9mm from its' hiding place and send it to him. To say I was pissed is an understatement because being in possession of a firearm, particularly a pistol in Mexico, is automatic jail time. I told he could retrieve it from the bottom of San Diego Bay.
I've never experienced the USCG going beyond the normal safety check and ships doc's review. The downside of refusing them boarding permission for which they always ask, is to face a problem when you hit the port you're headed for IMO, even if it is a foreign port. Phil

I know a fellow who made a delivery with his brother. His sil discovered false bottoms in cabinets. Opening them, they found thousands and thousands of dollars. they closed it all up and pretended they didn't know. They thought it was drug money. this was many years ago.
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Old 17-05-2013, 20:42   #82
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
faith-.....

When a watercop pulls over your boat...No analogy, no license, no consent.
......?
Absolutely! I am so sick and tired of folks saying we should just suck it up and roll over to these government officials who are looking out for our best interests.

I do not have 911 on speed dial, I do not go abroad and expect my host country to look out for me... I take care of my self, and my ship. It is complete and utter foolishness to simply accept that government has a right to come aboard by boat and look for infractions as though it was acting in my best interest.

I will stop there, I will go no farther in respect of the boards policy... But the OP is right on target.. We should expect and demand the 4th amendment apply to our ships just as it does to our homes, cars and recreational vehicles.

Peace, and fair winds to all the Sailors who read.
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Old 17-05-2013, 21:00   #83
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

I guess we are all products of our experience, Faith... mine has been blessedly good... yours, perhaps not so much. Never had to deal with a 'water cop' so wouldn't know what one is. If it is a local individual given a uniform, badge and a gun to patrol a 'no wake' zone, then I think I might have a problem with him doing an inspection as well because he may not know the blunt end from the pointy end on your vessel, wears black tar boots and has no fenders on his boat.
Rakuflames comment reminded me of a boarding inside Fort Bragg harbor where I got dinged for the day head overboard valve being over. But I had just crossed the bar into the harbor in a sea which was running over 20 feet so the Coastie just said shut it and try and remember in the future. I was more concerned about lining up the range markers than worrying about the day head! Great guys and gals on that station! Phil
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Old 18-05-2013, 05:29   #84
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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it's the same here. Can they go in and check to make sure the pump overboard is incapacitated?
Definitely. And not just the water cops.

Anyone with a badge may be given that authority from the RCMP to conservation officers and with my luck, the local school crossing guard.

I can understand not wanting to discharge sewage into the waters close to shore or in high population areas but zero discharge? My grey water is cleaner than what comes out of most boats' bilges.

Besides, discharge should be like a bike helmet for adults. You decide if you are going to wear one or not, not the government (yet anyway). I think most responsible people would handle the situation appropriately.

For the few that don't, well cities, farms and factories dump more stuff into the waterways than boaters ever will and nobody gets their knickers in a knot about that. You don't see the police checking industrial storm drains (unless somebody complains about the smell or the orange ooze creeping out of it).
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Old 18-05-2013, 15:51   #85
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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During my career I confiscated a number of guns... the youngest criminal I took a gun off of was 10 years old (A street robbery) and the oldest was 68 years old (Shooting at his neighbor's house), both found after a stop and frisk... I also took a Tech 9 machine pistol out of a woman's baby carriage (her baby lying next to it) who was standing on the corner with her crack dealing boyfriend, who had already been convicted of shooting at a cop once before and was out on parole...

I agree cops have to act professional and courteous to the public, but they should also be able to go home at the end of the day.

So I ask you... How would you figure out who who the bad guys are and still keep the public happy?
Thank you for doing those things but asking the ones that have the "guns" illegally and thinking they are going to say "yes" is silly, no?
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Old 24-05-2013, 07:31   #86
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

To build on your post Therapy, after 27 years as a street cop for a large city, I never ever met a criminal who had ever been deterred from committing a crime because it was against the law. Gun laws in particular.
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Old 24-05-2013, 08:27   #87
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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Definitely. And not just the water cops.

Anyone with a badge may be given that authority from the RCMP to conservation officers and with my luck, the local school crossing guard.

I can understand not wanting to discharge sewage into the waters close to shore or in high population areas but zero discharge? My grey water is cleaner than what comes out of most boats' bilges.

Besides, discharge should be like a bike helmet for adults. You decide if you are going to wear one or not, not the government (yet anyway). I think most responsible people would handle the situation appropriately.

For the few that don't, well cities, farms and factories dump more stuff into the waterways than boaters ever will and nobody gets their knickers in a knot about that. You don't see the police checking industrial storm drains (unless somebody complains about the smell or the orange ooze creeping out of it).

They don't check gray water, just sewage, and it's my understanding that they can go below and make sure the things that are supposed to be there are there, such as fire extinguisher and head secured properly.

We do have certain restrictions on our rights. We can't shout FIRE! in a crowded theater if there's no fire (that'a actually an example from the Supreme Court). If you're tired up at the dock and your boat catches fire, the fire can easily spread to other boats. We all know (or should know) that that has happened. It is a commonly accepted social more (as well as the law) that you don't poop in someone else's back yard.

Personal freedoms have limits as soon as you're in a formal society. Those who can't live with those things need to stay outside of international borders. Not sure how one could live forever that way. That was the point of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Captain Nemo figured out how to do that, and he was still angry at society.

If you can figure out how to live like Captain Nemo (and skip the sinking of other boats part), then ... I guess you're good to go without rules.

On land, the cops can pull people over at random and do sobriety checks. The Supreme Court has ruled on that one. I personally think the Venice, FL police went too far when they were standing in public intersections on Memorial Day looking for people without seat belts, but on the other hand, if you don't have health insurance, unless you're independently wealthy I will end up helping to pay your avoidable medical bills.

If you don't have enough life jackets for everyone on board, I will have to help pay for the SAR if disaster hits your boat.

If you don't want to follow society's rules, build a submarine and be a Captain Nemo. A non-ramming one, please!
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Old 24-05-2013, 08:33   #88
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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Thank you for doing those things but asking the ones that have the "guns" illegally and thinking they are going to say "yes" is silly, no?

Not for a law enforcer. They have learned over the years how to conduct investigations. If nothing else, if the person says no and should have said yes, the officer can already arrest them for lying to an officer. Might defuse a dangerous situation immediately.

I'm glad we have police officers and do not think the general public should micro-manage their every move. If they're abusing their power, it generally comes out now. They have to have video cams on their dashboards for pull-overs (did you see the one where the person pulled over told the officer his fly was down loudly enough to make sure it got on the video? That was pretty funny!)

The officers who beat the heck out of Rodney King got caught because someome else filmed it. Just because legitimate excesses occasionally happen doesn't mean we shouldn'ave have them, and I suspect that most of us won't always know why an officer does something a certain way.

If officers abuse their powers in any significant way even ONCE -- throw the book at them. With power comes responsibility.

My $.02.
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Old 24-05-2013, 09:07   #89
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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If nothing else, if the person says no and should have said yes, the officer can already arrest them for lying to an officer.
Maybe. Maybe not. Here in Florida, for instance, it is only illegal to lie to a police officer if under oath, or if the officer is asking about a specific crime. Meaning, in most normal encounters between a police officer and a citizen, where the officer might ask "fishing" types of questions to try to draw out information, it is perfectly legal for the citizen to lie to the officer.

(relevant statute: Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine )

Please understand that I am not recommending that you lie to any officer. I'm just saying that there are circumstances where it is not illegal to do so. And this is Florida law. The laws in other states (DUH!) may be different.
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Old 24-05-2013, 18:07   #90
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Re: Is random boarding of vessels unconstitutional?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
They don't check gray water, just sewage, and it's my understanding that they can go below and make sure the things that are supposed to be there are there, such as fire extinguisher and head secured properly.
Here in Canada, the Great Lakes is a zero discharge area. The problem is the officials can't decide what zero discharge is from one day to the next. What you got stopped for yesterday is OK today and what was OK yesterday earns you a fine today, but I think all governments are like that. So many loose laws that require on-site interpretation.

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
We do have certain restrictions on our rights. We can't shout FIRE! in a crowded theater if there's no fire (that'a actually an example from the Supreme Court). If you're tired up at the dock and your boat catches fire, the fire can easily spread to other boats. We all know (or should know) that that has happened. It is a commonly accepted social more (as well as the law) that you don't poop in someone else's back yard.
Therein lies the problem. It shouldn't have to be a law that you don't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater or poop in somebody else's back yard (unless they have an outhouse). At what point did we become so mentally deficient that we needed the government to point that out for us? The "Just do what the man with the gun says and everything will be OK" mentality is unacceptable. When did we become 2 legged sheep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Personal freedoms have limits as soon as you're in a formal society. Those who can't live with those things need to stay outside of international borders. Not sure how one could live forever that way. That was the point of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Captain Nemo figured out how to do that, and he was still angry at society.

If you can figure out how to live like Captain Nemo (and skip the sinking of other boats part), then ... I guess you're good to go without rules.
Nemo wasn't angry with society, he was disappointed with it (he was angry with war but what sane person wouldn't be). He saw it as a mishmash of corrupted values where the normal person bore the brunt of all the financial wastes while the elite (rich and socially assisted) were allowed all the gains (any of this sound familiar?). Everybody in Nemo's crew worked for their 'daily bread', it wasn't given to them. There was a regular chain of command as there is on any ship but Nemo didn't get to keep everything just because he was 'captain'. Everything was shared.

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On land, the cops can pull people over at random and do sobriety checks. The Supreme Court has ruled on that one.
Again, just because the government says it's OK to enforce laws they created, does that make it OK? I live in Canada so I may not understand exactly how your system works but here, judges are appointed by the government, not elected by the people. Bottom line is 'curry favour with the people that can advance your career not the ones that can't.' That means follow the laws not the morality. In Canada, we have a legal system. Justice happens after you die.

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I personally think the Venice, FL police went too far when they were standing in public intersections on Memorial Day looking for people without seat belts, but on the other hand, if you don't have health insurance, unless you're independently wealthy I will end up helping to pay your avoidable medical bills.
As far as health care goes, again, I live in Canada. We each pay a little so nobody has to pay a lot. I've been paying into it for 5 decades (as well as my various employers). I had an appendectomy 12 years ago. That was the first time I used it. Still cheaper than having the same surgery done in the US and not putting any money into it for 30+ years. Something you guys might want to think about. I mean $100 for a bottle of aspirins, really?

As far as the police in the main intersection checking seat belts or setting up a RIDE program on a long weekend, been done here for years.

You're right, I don't want some drunk slamming into my car but because you stop me to smell my breath doesn't give you the right to look in my glove box or trunk without probable cause.

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If you don't have enough life jackets for everyone on board, I will have to help pay for the SAR if disaster hits your boat.
I would consider it a complete failure on my part to ask the government to risk their people to save my sorry butt. I go cruising for my enjoyment, I don't HAVE to be out there. I'm not a fisherman or a naval merchant whose livelihood depends on being on the water. As a result, I do everything to take care of myself and not needlessly waste resources that could be better used to help people that really need it. I would go to my grave cursing myself if the Coast Guard spent resources on saving me while a fishing trawler foundered.

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If you don't want to follow society's rules, build a submarine and be a Captain Nemo. A non-ramming one, please!
Guess I have a different idea of what I expect from society and what society should expect from me.
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