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Old 16-05-2018, 17:09   #46
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Re: Unwarranted search

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Hello thinwater,

In your response (to which I made an admittedly hasty reply) to my first post, you made some statements implying that recording videos of the Coast Guard....
You infer far more than I said. Inland waters and coastal waters are different; this is obvious. If you are not comfortable with the legal differences, you could just stay home. In practice, I've found the USCG very easy to work on nice days and very professional when you call them in need. I don't see the point or purpose in ragging on good men.
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Old 16-05-2018, 17:11   #47
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Re: Unwarranted search

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The US Coast Guard has authority to board US vessels anywhere in the world. I don't know if they're ever out patrolling, say, the South Pacific or 50 miles off the Australian coast..
Not this old chestnut, comes up all the time and for most is incorrect or not spelled out....

The USCG has the authority to board a US flagged vessel in international waters and those waters of a sovereign state it has an agreement with to do so, if no agreement with a sovereign state then the USCG does NOT have the authority to conduct any police action whatsoever within that sovereign states borders or waters it has jurisdiction over....

In Australian territorial waters (and no doubt many other countries) the USCG has no authority to conduct any police action on a US flagged vessel, it can request so through government channels but at the most the Australian authority's will do the boarding with maybe an observer from the USCG, maybe. Like the majority of countries worldwide, any vessel that is within Australia's Territorial waters is not only subject to it's laws it is also subject to it's protection.....
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Old 16-05-2018, 17:49   #48
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Re: Unwarranted search

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Exactly. In different countries, different rules apply. At least we still have SOME rights in the USA.
I know you’re making the point, but it seems like a rather low benchmark to be pleased about.
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Old 16-05-2018, 18:08   #49
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Re: Unwarranted search

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Not this old chestnut, comes up all the time and for most is incorrect or not spelled out....

The USCG has the authority to board a US flagged vessel in international waters and those waters of a sovereign state it has an agreement with to do so, if no agreement with a sovereign state then the USCG does NOT have the authority to conduct any police action whatsoever within that sovereign states borders or waters it has jurisdiction over....

In Australian territorial waters (and no doubt many other countries) the USCG has no authority to conduct any police action on a US flagged vessel, it can request so through government channels but at the most the Australian authority's will do the boarding with maybe an observer from the USCG, maybe. Like the majority of countries worldwide, any vessel that is within Australia's Territorial waters is not only subject to it's laws it is also subject to it's protection.....
While this is completely true (AFAIK), it leaves out the situation of the authority or otherwise of the USCG has to board other flag nation's vessels in international waters.

AFAIK, Australia does have an blanket agreement with the USA that the USCG can board Australian flagged vessels in international waters (high seas etc). I can't recall the source of this information and I certainly don't know the nitty gritty details of exactly when/how the USCG can invoke this "privilege" but they don't need to contact any Australian authority or embassy before boarding.
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Old 16-05-2018, 18:09   #50
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Unwarranted search

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
You infer far more than I said. Inland waters and coastal waters are different; this is obvious. If you are not comfortable with the legal differences, you could just stay home. In practice, I've found the USCG very easy to work on nice days and very professional when you call them in need. I don't see the point or purpose in ragging on good men.


As some one who spent 20+ years in Military Service, it is not ragging on the individuals, they are not to blame.
For the most part they are kids trying to do the best they can with what they have been given.
However some of us believe that we should be accorded the same rights and privileges aboard our boats as we are in our houses.
It’s as simple as that really.
I feel as if I have to prove my innocence, and while that is the case under UCMJ, it is not in the civilian world, and so I think it wrong,
I feel as if I am being treated as a second class citizen, and again think that wrong.

No one has ever come to my house asking if I have been involved with illegal activities and expecting me to prove that I have not, but that has happened on my boat, and I think that needs to stop.
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Old 16-05-2018, 18:20   #51
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Re: Unwarranted search

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AFAIK, Australia does have an blanket agreement with the USA that the USCG can board Australian flagged vessels in international waters (high seas etc). I can't recall the source of this information and I certainly don't know the nitty gritty details of exactly when/how the USCG can invoke this "privilege" but they don't need to contact any Australian authority or embassy before boarding.
I don't know where you heard that wottie but it's completely untrue, the only time the above could happen is in US territorial/controlled waters otherwise the USCG has no authority to board any Aus flagged vessel in international waters, again requests and aggrements can be reached but there is most certainly no blanket aggrement....
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Old 16-05-2018, 18:27   #52
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Re: Unwarranted search

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I don't know where you heard that wottie but it's completely untrue, the only time the above could happen is in US territorial/controlled waters otherwise the USCG has no authority to board any Aus flagged vessel in international waters, again requests and aggrements can be reached but there is most certainly no blanket aggrement....
Hmm... I will have to dig around a bit to find where I heard this info, it was in the late 90's IIRC.

As far as US territorial waters go, of course they don't need any one else's say so; its their waters and they do want they want...

But I am curious, how do you know as a fact that there isn't an agreement between Australia and the USA regarding Aussie flagged vessels.
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Old 16-05-2018, 18:50   #53
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Re: Unwarranted search

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But I am curious, how do you know as a fact that there isn't an agreement between Australia and the USA regarding Aussie flagged vessels.
Very simple, the information on who and who cannot board the vessels and under what situations is kept on board the vessels I command, it's also drummed into you while studying the maritime law components when at maritime collage studying for your tickets.....

In international waters the USCG would have to obtain a "statement of no objection" from the flag state, in this case Australia, before boarding any Australian flagged vessel....
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Old 16-05-2018, 20:05   #54
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Re: Unwarranted search

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Very simple, the information on who and who cannot board the vessels and under what situations is kept on board the vessels I command, it's also drummed into you while studying the maritime law components when at maritime collage studying for your tickets.....

In international waters the USCG would have to obtain a "statement of no objection" from the flag state, in this case Australia, before boarding any Australian flagged vessel....
Well of course I to professional knowledge from a professional mariner yet there remains a niggling doubt about the subject. Perhaps there is such a blank "statement of no objection" almost all filled in with Aus that the UCCG can quickly invoke with a call to the nearest Aus embassy (a tick and flick exercise).

In one case that I partly recall, it seemed to be a mere formality that USCG did as they boarded an Aussie yacht as part of their drug interdiction programme. The details are hazy but I think it was a singe hander who had departed either Sydney or Hobart to circumnavigate the South Pacific Ocean in a small 27 or 28 footer against all advise. After running to South America below 40S, he sailed up the west coast and was returning via the trade wind route when he was boarded at night some couple of hundred off the SA coast. I used to have his book detailing the event and in particular, the authority that the UCCG claimed to have.

Maybe it wasn't true...
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Old 16-05-2018, 20:42   #55
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Re: Unwarranted search

It is not just the USCG that travels far from their own shores to board vessels
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A New Zealand frigate involved in an international operation in the Western Indian Ocean has seized almost 260kg of high-grade heroin worth about $235 million. The HMNZS Te Kaha has been working in a United States-led operation and seized the huge quantity of drugs after searching two boats. Because the frigate was operating outside of New Zealand waters, the boats' crews were allowed to sail on after the seizures. Small quantities were kept for testing, but the rest of the heroin was dumped into the ocean, using a fire hose that ran through a modified green wheelie bin.
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Old 17-05-2018, 04:20   #56
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Re: Unwarranted search

From the US State Dept. regarding the USCG:

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International Cooperative Efforts: In December 2013, the USCG had 52 personnel deployed abroad to facilitate maritime counterdrug activities including security assistance, intelligence collection and dissemination, and liaison internally and externally. There are 45 maritime counterdrug bilateral agreements or operational procedures in place between the United States and partner nations. These agreements greatly increase the operational reach of U.S. assets, and help partner nations protect their sovereignty.

...
I haven’t found the list of which countries have these agreements, but I know I looked at one during a prior discussion on this subject.
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Old 17-05-2018, 05:51   #57
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Re: Unwarranted search

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As some one who spent 20+ years in Military Service, it is not ragging on the individuals, they are not to blame.
For the most part they are kids trying to do the best they can with what they have been given.
Well put, and worth repeating.

There may have been some posts here that criticize the specific actions of particular members of the USCG, but most of the criticism is of the system and the rules that are in place. NOT of the individuals serving in the USCG.

I have the utmost respect for the individual servicemen and women of the USCG. I think the rules that they operate under, however, need to be changed. Here in the United States we have certain rights that are supposed to be protected by our government. Among those is the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. It is patently wrong that we lose that protection the moment we step foot on our boats.

That needs to change. Saying that, however, is in NO WAY "ragging" on the individuals who serve in the USCG. They do a difficult and important job under very trying circumstances, and I have no doubt that -- with only a few extraordinarily rare exceptions -- they do it to the best of their abilities and with service to the public foremost in their minds.
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Old 17-05-2018, 11:02   #58
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Re: Unwarranted search

The US civilian protection against "unreasonable search and seizure" goes back to our fourth amendment, which in turn was written by traitorous rebels who had recently won the war of secession from the British Crown. In particular, they felt that rebels who were (literally) carrying treasonous documents in their carriages while upon the (literally) King's Highway, should have a right not to be searched by the King's men.

In other words, the laws were written by criminals, or freedom fighters, to expressly protect criminal possession in a vehicle.

But since the 1970's, the US Supreme Court (in a set of automobile search cases where one case reversed the ruling of the other) has ruled in favor of eroding those rights, time after time, fairly heavily. Is it legal? No. Is it the law? Yes.

With boats it becomes more complex, as the idea of "recreational vessels" as opposed to commercial ones, just didn't exist back then. Which seems to be a large part of why the courts show no protection to recreational vessels.
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Old 17-05-2018, 14:26   #59
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Re: Unwarranted search

.....and of course, not all recreational vehicles are used as homes, far from it. Writing the law to protect people who treat their recreational vehicles as a house would be really tricky to get right......

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Old 17-05-2018, 14:56   #60
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Re: Unwarranted search

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.....and of course, not all recreational vehicles are used as homes, far from it. Writing the law to protect people who treat their recreational vehicles as a house would be really tricky to get right......

Ann

There's a great deal of case law on this, and the courts have widely treated the coach portion of RVs as a residence. Consider that under U.S. law people may have multiple residences, all of which are treated as "homes" for the purposes of constitutional law. See California. v Carney, for example, an early case where the U.S. Supreme Court held 6-3 that an RV was residential in character, though the facts of the case that the search was considered compliant with the 4th amendment on the grounds of probable cause. The dissents are particularly interesting and show some precedent for treating boats -- particularly cruising boats that serve as a residence -- similarly to "stick" houses for 4th amendment purposes.
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