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View Poll Results: Boardings by USCG
Your nationality USA 123 85.42%
Canadian 12 8.33%
Other 7 4.86%
Years cruising in or near US waters 0 9 6.25%
1-2 19 13.19%
3-5 22 15.28%
5+ 94 65.28%
Howmany times boarded 0 73 50.69%
1-2 49 34.03%
3-5 13 9.03%
5+ 7 4.86%
Was boarding party armed Yes 54 37.50%
No 12 8.33%
Have seen both 10 6.94%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 144. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15-07-2008, 13:05   #31
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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Courtesy of BoatUS: RegulationsGarbage All boaters are required to dispose of garbage and waste properly. If your boat is 26 feet long or longer, you must have a Pollution Placard and a Trash Placard. If more than 40 feet in length, you need a written garbage disposal plan. This can be as simple as a posted letter saying that you collect the garbage on board and take it ashore for appropriate disposal. Although this may seem excessive, it does have roots in serious attempts at maritime pollution abatement.



The placard must be permanently affixed in a prominent place, it must be made of a durable material, and it must be at least four by nine inches in size.
Unfortunately no emoticon for sniggering

I guess their is also a card in the head showing the difference between elbow and.......

For foreign flagged vessels as far as I am aware they operate worldwide under the maritime rules and regulations of their own country, save where they impact outside the vessel (i.e. no pumping black water into an anchorage abroad, even if permitted at "home"). Hence the popularity of Flags of Convenience for commercial shipping. (Of course this does not make the vessel sovereign territory as sometimes thought ).

Same of course applies for US vessels abroad, except less chance of a USCG inspection.
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Old 21-07-2008, 12:24   #32
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Probable Cause?

Your vessel can be treated as a second home or cottage by Federal Tax law. Therefore, it seems that it is your castle. Then don't you wonder why the CG can board your vessel without probable cause? I understand it is under the guise of a safety inspection. However, they will stop you, a citizen, without cause as you go about your lawful business and detain you against your will. They will search your castle without a warrant. They will not allow you to schedule the safety inspection at a mutually agreed time. All seems heavy handed for a free country.
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Old 21-07-2008, 12:35   #33
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Yes it does seem a bit heavy handed, but we have choices. We can change the laws, play by their rules, or not play at all. I choose to play by their rules. Even though they, CG, slammed my boat, put holes in it, treated me as a criminal under watch of a gun, and held me captive in a corner while they went through the boat.
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Old 21-07-2008, 12:42   #34
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I understand it is under the guise of a safety inspection.
There is no guise at all. They don't pretend to do anything. They have the power to search any vessel at will expressly granted by federal authority and always have. They are not required to show you cause. They are a military organization not a police organization. They carry loaded automatic weapons. It is a precondition to the operation of a vessel in US waters. The government owns the water.
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Old 21-07-2008, 13:11   #35
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Yes, but don't we own the government?
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Old 21-07-2008, 13:13   #36
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The government owns the water.
The government owns the highways also. That said they can't pull you over and search your car without probable cause. Even more, having a car on a highway is a privilege not a right, unlike being on the water.
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Old 21-07-2008, 14:16   #37
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It is not accurate to compare the search powers of the U.S. Coast Guard (military authority) to those of peace officers (civil authority). The Coast Guard, by federal statute, has much broader authority.

Here's an interesting discussion on the topic by attorney John Wallner:

Reference: Live Aboard 9605: My Boat Is My Castle: The 4th Amendment at Sea

"Ever since 1946, the Coast Guard has enjoyed wide search powers on
'all navigable waters' under U.S. jurisdiction.
The current text of 14 USCA s 89(a), states:

The Coast Guard may make inquiries, examinations, inspections,
searches, seizures, and arrests upon the high seas and waters over
which the United States has jurisdiction, for the prevention,
detection, and suppression of violations of laws of the United
States. For such purposes, commissioned, warrant, and petty officers
may at any time go on board of any vessel subject to the
jurisdiction, or to the operation of any law, of the United States,
address inquiries to those on board, examine the ship's documents and
papers, and examine, inspect, and search the vessel and use all
necessary force to compel compliance. When from such inquiries,
examination, inspection, or search it appears that a breach of the
laws of the United States rendering a person liable to arrest is
being, or has been committed, by any person, such person shall be
arrested or, if escaping to shore, shall be immediately pursued and
arrested on shore, or other lawful and appropriate action shall be
taken; or, if it shall appear that a breach of the laws of the United
States has been committed so as to render such vessel, or the
merchandise, or any part thereof, on board of, or brought into the
United States by, such vessel, liable to forfeiture, or so as to
render such vessel liable to a fine or penalty and if necessary to
secure such fine or penalty, such vessel or such merchandise, or
both, shall be seized.

Along with similar Customs powers, Section 89 Coast Guard police authority
has been called the "most sweeping grants of police authority ever to
be written into U.S. law." [see for instance: La Fave s. 10.5(i).]
Read literally, s. 89 gives the Coast Guard plenary search and seizure
power over every vessel under U.S.

This statute, currently broadly due to our war on drugs, gives the Coast
Guard search powers over vessels that are much broader than similar search
powers over cars, houses, or RV's. For instance, for a peace officer to
search an RV, the PO usually does not need a warrant, but must have "probable
cause" to search the vehicle. The Coast Guard, on the other hand, has
statutory power to stop and search a vessel *even in the absence of probable
cause that a crime is being committed*, so long as the stop was for the
purpose of a 'safety and document inspection.' "
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Old 21-07-2008, 14:31   #38
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Nazi homeland security

The coast guard has always been professional and cool headed in every instance that I have dealt with them. The only time they boarded was after they asked "permission to board". I was boarded by homeland security and they were a totally differenty story, they snuck up behind us 12+ mi offshore and boarded us with guns drawn without asking questions. They harrassed and threatened and searched the boat and came up with a small amount of marijuana a passenger was carrying. They then forced us to follow them into clearwater florida where they turned me over to the pinellas county police. I took a $5000 lawyer bill to find out I was boarded illegally , was out of floridas and the united states jurisdiction , You do NOT!! have to let anyone board your boat without a search warrant. It is a right guaranteed in the constitution. They may hold you and get a search warrant but not board your boat without one. To think that they violated my constitutional rights and broke some way serious laws to harass me for someones bag of pot that was on my boat really still burns me up.
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Old 21-07-2008, 16:23   #39
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Boardings

It was a night from hell. We were fog bound, no wind and taking huge rollers on the beam. Below the cabin looked like a mix master. The DVD case opened and deposited it's contents in a closed (!!!) sock drawer on the other side of the cabin. We had just put back in the water and the seams were still swelling so the bilge was adding to the mess below. The wife was sick. The two cats were sick and I was straining to spot the channel markers off Point Loma so we could turn stern to and make that final run into the calm waters of the bay.

It was black and cold and nasty when suddenly a high speed boat roared up behind us and blinded me with a mega spot light. They did not identify themselves and I bellowed for him to turn off the @#$% spot light. "Do you know who I am?" an invisible voice shouted.

"Turn off your @#$%^ spot light!" We were trying to find our turning point between the surf and kelp beds and the jetty.

"What if you have a gun!" he shouted. I still had no idea who he was but from his actions I had a pretty good idea. My wife, a generally cooler head than me popped out of the companion way and shouted, "We surrender."

"You are talking to a federal officer. We have to see if you have a gun."

"We surrender. What do you want?" she added again. The kid continued his lecture and any hope of getting my night vision back in the next half hour was gone.

"We surrender. What do you want?" she shouted again.

It was after midnight but the kid finally caught on. "Where are you from and where are you going?"

"Mission Bay and we're trying to get home to Coronado now turn off that light."

They roared away. ICE? Homeland Security? Customs? I don't believe they ever did identify themselves but it's nice to know if the United States is ever invaded by 40 year old, wooden ketches traveling at 4 knots, armed with two sea sick cats and a fiery redhead, we'll be safe.

Cheers,
John & Jan
SV Santa Teresa
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Old 23-07-2008, 12:16   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John & Jan View Post
It was a night from hell. We were fog bound, no wind and taking huge rollers on the beam. Below the cabin looked like a mix master. The DVD case opened and deposited it's contents in a closed (!!!) sock drawer on the other side of the cabin. We had just put back in the water and the seams were still swelling so the bilge was adding to the mess below. The wife was sick. The two cats were sick and I was straining to spot the channel markers off Point Loma so we could turn stern to and make that final run into the calm waters of the bay.

It was black and cold and nasty when suddenly a high speed boat roared up behind us and blinded me with a mega spot light. They did not identify themselves and I bellowed for him to turn off the @#$% spot light. "Do you know who I am?" an invisible voice shouted.

"Turn off your @#$%^ spot light!" We were trying to find our turning point between the surf and kelp beds and the jetty.

"What if you have a gun!" he shouted. I still had no idea who he was but from his actions I had a pretty good idea. My wife, a generally cooler head than me popped out of the companion way and shouted, "We surrender."

"You are talking to a federal officer. We have to see if you have a gun."

"We surrender. What do you want?" she added again. The kid continued his lecture and any hope of getting my night vision back in the next half hour was gone.

"We surrender. What do you want?" she shouted again.

It was after midnight but the kid finally caught on. "Where are you from and where are you going?"

"Mission Bay and we're trying to get home to Coronado now turn off that light."

They roared away. ICE? Homeland Security? Customs? I don't believe they ever did identify themselves but it's nice to know if the United States is ever invaded by 40 year old, wooden ketches traveling at 4 knots, armed with two sea sick cats and a fiery redhead, we'll be safe.

Cheers,
John & Jan
SV Santa Teresa
I know how you feel, last weekend my friend and I were sailing his mono and we were boarded by homeland security. They didn't announce themselves they just snuck up behind us and climbed on board my friend thought they were terrorists and nearly drew a desert eagle on them( I never knew he had one till then) but I pointed out their badges and he stoped, barley avoiding getting shot. They then procceded to ransack his boat and confiscated all of the hunting gear he stored on the boat and we were told to follow them to port so we did and then after three hours were given our stuff back and released much to the dismay of the agents because the commander decided that a 16 year old and a 19 year old were not likely to cause any trouble but we were followed for about three hours afterword and were finally left alone when it got dark. My friend was not happy because when we got back sunday we had to straighten up the mess that was made by the agents. from now on we will always demand a warrant before being boarded by homeland security again.
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Old 25-08-2008, 15:13   #41
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OOps, clicked the wrong button, I am US nationality. I wasn't boarded by USCG but U.S Customs/Homeland Security, the reason I figured was because I was running parallel to the US/Canadian border (Boundry Straits in the San Juan Islands) at about 4kts with a radar reflector up...must of looked suspicious, either that or they were bored.
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Old 01-09-2008, 15:42   #42
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French registered Beneteau, 3AM 26 nm SSE of Isla Beata, DR in large following seas. BIG light from astern and a call from a USCG cutter to maintain heading and speed and prepare to be boarded. RIB appears on the Stbd side with 5 heavily armed tightly wound coasties, none over 19. Four attempts to board refusing help from our side. Two finally made it aboard while all but the helmsman trained their M16s on our boat. They relaxed considerably when they found 3 old farts making a delivery to Texas but wiped the boat down from one end to the other with sampling cloths. Besides the regular safety and placard check they examined our log, charts and the GPS track. Told us to maintain our course until instructed and left. The cutter followed us for about 20 minutes and then radioed that we sere free to go. Evidently they took the rags back to an on board lab to check for drugs. Whole episode took about 2 hours.

I would not want that job.
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Old 01-09-2008, 18:21   #43
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I'm all for homeland security and all, but as a taxpayer--most of these stories really piss me off. In Newport, Oregon there is a very heavy CG presence, but we have not--nor have I seen anyone else being unnecessarily harrassed.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:36   #44
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I was boarded by homeland security and they were a totally differenty story, they snuck up behind us 12+ mi offshore and boarded us with guns drawn without asking questions.

Now, wouldn't that be considered an act of piracy? what would be the ramifications if you fired on this boarding party?

No identification, guns drawn and sneaking up in international waters. If this is their MO, there is going to be a disaster sooner or later with someone defending their boat.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:04   #45
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French registered Beneteau, 3AM 26 nm SSE of Isla Beata, DR in large following seas. BIG light from astern and a call from a USCG cutter to maintain heading and speed and prepare to be boarded. RIB appears on the Stbd side with 5 heavily armed tightly wound coasties, none over 19. Four attempts to board refusing help from our side. Two finally made it aboard while all but the helmsman trained their M16s on our boat. They relaxed considerably when they found 3 old farts making a delivery to Texas but wiped the boat down from one end to the other with sampling cloths. Besides the regular safety and placard check they examined our log, charts and the GPS track. Told us to maintain our course until instructed and left. The cutter followed us for about 20 minutes and then radioed that we sere free to go. Evidently they took the rags back to an on board lab to check for drugs. Whole episode took about 2 hours.

I would not want that job.

I happen to be a field engineer for that "on board lab" USCG is one of our more professional customers.
During Desert Storm we (DDG995) were trained by the coasties for ship boardings and had to perform those duties in the northern Red Sea. Not a fun job at all. Give them respect and don't give them a reason to make mistakes.
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