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Old 10-07-2013, 13:35   #1
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Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

Kudos to the State of Arkansas, the State of Michigan (Public Act 62) and the State of Ohio(House Bill 209) for addressing a serious issue on their respective waters concerning random stops of boaters for safety inspections as being unreasonable search and seizure and a violation of one's constitutional rights. These new state laws were passed as a response to the growing number of excessive random boardings by local and state marine units of recreational boaters with no reasonable cause. These new state laws will have no effect on USCG policy ,which reserves the right to stop boaters according to Federal law, but the USCG was never criticized by boaters for unreasonable search, seizure and harassment as was the case with the local and state agencies. In a steadily growing society of uneducated citizens that has forgotten the legacy of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, this is a breath of fresh air and a return to the intention of our founding fathers vision of America.

Great Lakes Scuttlebutt/July and August 2013/"Are Random Stops of Boats Unconstitutional?" by Norm Schultz
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:00   #2
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Kudos to the State of Arkansas, the State of Michigan (Public Act 62) and the State of Ohio(House Bill 209) for addressing a serious issue on their respective waters concerning random stops of boaters for safety inspections as being unreasonable search and seizure and a violation of one's constitutional rights. These new state laws were passed as a response to the growing number of excessive random boardings by local and state marine units of recreational boaters with no reasonable cause. These new state laws will have no effect on USCG policy ,which reserves the right to stop boaters according to Federal law, but the USCG was never criticized by boaters for unreasonable search, seizure and harassment as was the case with the local and state agencies. In a steadily growing society of uneducated citizens that has forgotten the legacy of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, this is a breath of fresh air and a return to the intention of our founding fathers vision of America.

Great Lakes Scuttlebutt/July and August 2013/"Are Random Stops of Boats Unconstitutional?" by Norm Schultz
Certainly seems like a step in the right direction.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:03   #3
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As much as everyone jumps on California for being a nanny state I've never had an issue, or known of one, from California state authorities.

East coast guys have it pretty bad it seems.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:07   #4
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

Sir, please report to your local DHS office for re-education. We have reports of un-American activity originating from your account.

I'm pretty cool with USCG checks... if we are going to ask them to come out and save us and risk their lives at the least opportune time, we at least owe them some assurances that we have done at least the minimum to assure that they stand a reasonable chance of success.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:13   #5
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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Sir, please report to your local DHS office for re-education. We have reports of un-American activity originating from your account.

I'm pretty cool with USCG checks... if we are going to ask them to come out and save us and risk their lives at the least opportune time, we at least owe them some assurances that we have done at least the minimum to assure that they stand a reasonable chance of success.
As a future visiting cruiser to US waters I would have no problem whatsoever with the Coast Guard boarding for inspections etc. I can just imagine that US citizens get tired of being boarded by local authorities at random on a regular basis. This could become tiresome and tantamount to harassment every now and then I guess, especially if its on inland waters.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:14   #6
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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Sir, please report to your local DHS office for re-education. We have reports of un-American activity originating from your account.

I'm pretty cool with USCG checks... if we are going to ask them to come out and save us and risk their lives at the least opportune time, we at least owe them some assurances that we have done at least the minimum to assure that they stand a reasonable chance of success.

I agree with you, although I thought my one encounter with them was a little odd. It was dark and I was waiting for a bridge opening well away from the bridge -- because it was dark and power boats often come racing through there, and they might or might not see me. I saw no need in being close to the bridge traffic until I had to.

Tbe CG boat thought that was odd until explained it. They didn't board me. Between all the netting and me wearing my PFD I'm sure they figured they would come up with nothing,
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:23   #7
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Sir, please report to your local DHS office for re-education. We have reports of un-American activity originating from your account.

I'm pretty cool with USCG checks... if we are going to ask them to come out and save us and risk their lives at the least opportune time, we at least owe them some assurances that we have done at least the minimum to assure that they stand a reasonable chance of success.

Zboss, apparently you didn't read my statement or didn't understand what was written. The laws concerned were state laws passed in Arkansas, Ohio and Michigan to prevent unreasonable search and seizure for random boardings by local authorities on recreational boaters. They have no effect on the powers or jurisdiction of the USCG. Federal law always supersedes state law. That is why we are called the United States of America.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:33   #8
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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As a future visiting cruiser to US waters I would have no problem whatsoever with the Coast Guard boarding for inspections etc. I can just imagine that US citizens get tired of being boarded by local authorities at random on a regular basis. This could become tiresome and tantamount to harassment every now and then I guess, especially if its on inland waters.
It depends on the state, but in general the USCG has a lot more to do than hassle people randomly. In active drug trafficking corridors (like Southern California) or if you're out when a storm is moving in they might get into your business a bit, but that's their job.

I've heard that in the south (south east US, especially Florida) the local and state enforcement guys can be real pricks.

In some west coast ports the harbor police (which is basically the seaborne department for that city's police) can also be a pile of jerks. But they don't generally go out past the breakwaters. I've never seen harbor cops randomly checking on anything outside of the harbor itself.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:40   #9
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

July 29, 2013 this San Francisco police boat shooed-off the boat approaching too close to us (a passenger ship), at berth.

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Old 10-07-2013, 14:40   #10
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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Zboss, apparently you didn't read my statement or didn't understand what was written. The laws concerned were state laws passed in Arkansas, Ohio and Michigan to prevent unreasonable search and seizure for random boardings by local authorities on recreational boaters. They have no effect on the powers or jurisdiction of the USCG. Federal law always supersedes state law. That is why we are called the United States of America.

I think he understood it. he just commented on the CG. I followed both of you perfectly well.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:44   #11
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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It depends on the state, but in general the USCG has a lot more to do than hassle people randomly. In active drug trafficking corridors (like Southern California) or if you're out when a storm is moving in they might get into your business a bit, but that's their job.

I've heard that in the south (south east US, especially Florida) the local and state enforcement guys can be real pricks.

In some west coast ports the harbor police (which is basically the seaborne department for that city's police) can also be a pile of jerks. But they don't generally go out past the breakwaters. I've never seen harbor cops randomly checking on anything outside of the harbor itself.

Yeah, that kind of prickiness is pretty common in Florida, where there have been a lot of jurisdiction turf wars.

If we're very lucky, some jurisdictional twit in Arkansas or Michigan will challenge these laws, and we'll have a Supreme Court ruling that will put an end to the nonsense and return these agencies to things like protecting and serving. I heard that phrase somewhere...
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:46   #12
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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July 29, 2013 this San Francisco police boat shooed-off the boat approaching too close to us (a passenger ship), at berth.


I have friends who sailed, say, north to south, close to a cruise liner, while the cruise line was moving south to north. I'm sure they had great fun but there are actually significant restrictions about how close one can come to a cruise ship. I don't remember what the distance is, but they were well within it.

They were lucky no one with bubbly lights was out there at the time.
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:47   #13
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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July 29, 2013 this San Francisco police boat shooed-off the boat approaching too close to us (a passenger ship), at berth.

Wait -- July 29, 2013? Isn't today the 10th?
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Old 10-07-2013, 14:48   #14
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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Zboss, apparently you didn't read my statement or didn't understand what was written. The laws concerned were state laws passed in Arkansas, Ohio and Michigan to prevent unreasonable search and seizure for random boardings by local authorities on recreational boaters. They have no effect on the powers or jurisdiction of the USCG. Federal law always supersedes state law. That is why we are called the United States of America.
No, I understood, I was making an additional comment.

Its a fair ruling you are speaking about. Driving my boat on the inter-coastal I don't have any difference in my reasonable expectation of privacy vs. driving on I-95 in my car in the same direction.

Although... for my car I have to go in once a year for an inspection. So, states might have to adopt a yearly inspection standard if they change the laws. You know, through-hulls have to up to date or maybe grandfathered in...etc.
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Old 10-07-2013, 15:07   #15
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Re: Random Stops of Boaters Unconstitutional

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No, I understood, I was making an additional comment.

Its a fair ruling you are speaking about. Driving my boat on the inter-coastal I don't have any difference in my reasonable expectation of privacy vs. driving on I-95 in my car in the same direction.

Although... for my car I have to go in once a year for an inspection. So, states might have to adopt a yearly inspection standard if they change the laws. You know, through-hulls have to up to date or maybe grandfathered in...etc.

That's not going to happen. It's too expensive to haul the boat out for inspection. Long before we had car inspections we had the development of driver's licenses.

I wonder how many people would be outraged if they were required to pass a sailing test and get a photo ID, or not be allowed to sail their boat?
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