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Old 20-11-2012, 11:57   #1
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Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Ok I'm sailing around the point approaching boot key when I see an unlit boat approaching on radar. Blue flashers light up and I'm told prepare to be boarded while an armed officer jumps on deck. I show him my papers and he puts another armed thug out between me and the hatch as he goes below and proceeds to dig through my personal belongings. I ask if I may use the phone or radio and I'm told NO! He finds some muscle relaxers belonging to my friend for his back and makes him dump them overboard I guess because they weren't in the prescription bottle. They dig through the boat for about an hour and then leave. They didn't identify themselves or leave a boarding report. The next day I called customs and border patrol and inquire as to the normal boarding procedures after giving my account. It wasn't them as they wear green uniforms and these guys were wearing black and dark blue. I received a call back from an officer from customs and we determined it wasn't their men. Then later I got a call from the local coast guard officer in charge and I assured him it wasn't coast guard(who I have the utmost respect for). He told me he would contact an official from another office of homeland security and I could expect a call from them in the near future. What's this country coming to when armed thugs swarm your home in the dark in the name of the law. The anger has just been building in me and its eating me up.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:05   #2
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Quote:
What's this country coming to when armed thugs swarm your home in the dark in the name of the law.
Consider yourself lucky they didn't go the blue glove procedure...expecially with the muscle relaxing pills overboard. What's the country coming to? Progress, apparently. Forward!
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:08   #3
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

You need to identify who actually boarded your boat before casting aspersions at a person or an agency. However, as we continue to lose our freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, these incidents will become more frequent. Most people never question authority but meekly acquiesce to these demands. That is why sheep need a shepherd. . . to tell them what to do. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:08   #4
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

should be obvious. it's much safer for them to board a boat sailed by one old guy or an old couple, and they still get 'credit' for boarding a 'suspicious' vessel. just like the praetorian guard in ancient rome, they have to justify their existence or they'll be shipped to an actual war zone like afghanistan...

having said that, we were boarded by the coast guard in the middle of the gulf stream. they came alongside in a rubber boat and in full uniform, with a cutter standing by. they asked us a few perfectly normal questions, then boarded and inspected us. they were businesslike and polite. i like them....
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:19   #5
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

I would have thought that ANY law enforcement individuals would be obligated to identify themselves and what agency they are with, maybe I missed something. Everytime I have been boarded, be it law enforcement or USCG, they have always identifed themselves and performed in a professional manner. I would be very interested to know whom you encountered and what agency was represented, I am sure they have a protocol that they are obliged to follow.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:33   #6
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Pirates? Have you checked your valuables?

Showing up with a "blue light" dressed in gear and asking to see your papers! What a great way to get on someones boat without a fight.

Did they hail you on the radio? I wonder if it is wise of us to make a channel 16 radio announcement before letting someone board our boats especially in an unmarked vessel.

I look forward to hearing about who these people were once you find out.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:43   #7
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

This kind of black & blue?

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Old 20-11-2012, 12:45   #8
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

I had a similar experience with them, we were about 12 nm off of Fort Lauderdale headed AWAY from the US, they snuck up on us in the dark (2am) all wearing black with a black boat and no lights, scared the crap out of me when they turned all the lights on, then extremely rude behavior, etc. I don't know what they thought we had planned for a national security threat in a sailboat heading away from the US...

This was indeed CBP/DHS, at least that part was identified on their flack jacket...
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:46   #9
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

In over 12 years of cruising (mainly weekends) on a friends 50 ft Bertram, we have never been boarded .( S. Florida area ) Is it mainly sailboats that are getting hassled ? Are the big shots on expensive boats not being boarded so often?
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:49   #10
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

I've seen them out there (off E. coast, FL.) in go-fast boats. Dressed like ninjas and no markings on the boat. They didn't bother us, did a slow pass and then took off.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:50   #11
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

I had an encounter with homeland security coming back from Canada to the US on Lake Huron a couple of summers ago. Stopped at customs to clear in and they boarded the boat in black boots. They took everything out of the lockers, looked under cushions, emptied the refrigerator, took apart first aid kits and then interviewed me about where I had been for about 30 minutes ( I had been cruising the North Channel for two weeks). Clearing into Canada was 100 times easier. Just our passports and have a nice time. Homeland Security is out of control. They have been given too much power and money. At the small town where we were on the Canadian/Michigan border they had a Hummer and a boat with four 300HP outboards. They feel like they have to justify all the money spent on the "war on terror" and "war on drugs". I was furious and wrote to my congressman and senator but heard nothing.
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Old 20-11-2012, 12:55   #12
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Contact CG on 16 have conversation recorded that you are being boarded by unknowns give location. Might make them a whole lot more polite! Up here Canada You can refuse to allow anyone on board if conditions deem it unsafe for you or them. Advise that they are more than welcome on board once you are safely alongside in a harbour or Marina.
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Old 20-11-2012, 13:00   #13
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Black, rude, no markings, is probably DEA.
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Old 20-11-2012, 13:02   #14
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

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Up here Canada You can refuse to allow anyone on board if conditions deem it unsafe for you or them.
I have never heard that before. Do you have a link to a source that gives us that right?
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Old 20-11-2012, 13:06   #15
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re: Maltreatment By Homeland Security

Did they have any markings on their boat?
Did they have name tags on their uniforms?
Next time request their home station and commanding officers name. If no reply, hail the USCG immediately after they leave. Somebody will be in trouble!

Chances are they were HLS or CBP. The CBP in our area wear dark uniforms, run high powered large RIB's and cruise the Strait of Juan De Fuca. They are not so formal about coming aboard. But the USCG is also part of the HLS/CBP so they do communicate.

I was approached a couple times by these guys while crossing the Straits but they never came aboard. They just cruised along side asking questions like; where I was coming from, if anyone else was on board and where was I heading. They normally react to ones responses and attitude.

BTW Carrying ANY type of prescription medication outside of the original bottle is illegal. The correct way to carry your prescription: Straight from the DEA | Pharmer.org
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