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Old 02-02-2006, 01:01   #1
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USCG jurisdiction

Here is a .ppt download (2.5 Mb) that might be of interest, stating jurisdiction and non-jurisdiction of the USCG at sea.

USCG jurisdiction
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Old 02-02-2006, 18:07   #2
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Well,

I guess they can do whatever in the hell they want, wherever they want and whenever they want.
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Old 02-02-2006, 18:21   #3
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The US Coast Guard can board any US flagged vessel anywhere in the world with no cause. They can also board any vessel regardless of flag if it is believed that that vessel contains US passengers or goods, or goods that are headed to the US, including dockside boarding. They can write citations to any US flagged vessel based on US laws, anywhere in the world. They can board any vessel regardless of flag in any US waterway, inland waterway, or any water that leads to navigable US waters, with no cause, at anytime. And if that isn't enough, since they are now under the juristiction of homeland security, expect them to have even broader powers. I am not sure how much broader they coud get, but you can bet they will come up with something.
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Old 02-02-2006, 22:06   #4
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Yes. Kai is correct.

The US Coast Guard, can. And will board any boat. In US waters. And board US boats anywhere in the world.

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Old 02-02-2006, 22:26   #5
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USCG

Smokey Xrayed my boat at the border.
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Old 02-02-2006, 22:29   #6
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They didn't care what was in it, they just wanted you to glow in the dark so they could keep track of ya
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Old 02-02-2006, 22:33   #7
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Yeah.

Shoot enough radiation at you from their radar. Enough to peel the paint off your boat. And give you, and your guest's a permanant orange Afro!!
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Old 02-02-2006, 22:46   #8
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Xray

I asked them if they could tell me what the keel was made of but they just wanted me out of there. The border guys are a red alert and have lost their sense of ho ho. Not all of them, but most. Our guys are acting the same. New guberment is gonna send them to the shooting range so they can carry guns. Comming to a border near you. I had no idea what might be in the boat as I had not given it a thorough search.
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Old 02-02-2006, 22:49   #9
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So Micheal.

You're saying. That the Coast Guard, carries a xray machine?

And let me guess. They xray the hull and bulkheads, for contraband. Right?
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Old 03-02-2006, 08:47   #10
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Xray

The machine is at a land border crossing, it's a drive through unit.
You or me, the suspects, drive through while they, the red alert team, take the pictures. They did not disclose what they were looking for, but when smokey, the border patrol, tells you to do something, it is best you do it. Sometimes though they just go through the motions to justify their existance. It was close to a coin toss to Xray me.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:27   #11
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To step away from the 'xray' discussion for a moment, I've found that a common question non-U.S. yacht owners ask is 'How is it legal for the USCG to board my foreign flagged vessel in international waters?' In some cases, they are pretty hot about this and think it's merely the USCG's potential force that makes this possibl. The answer is not 'might makes right' and it's not because the yacht has rights which are not being observed by the USCG. The link that was offered at the beginning of this thread was, I thought, terribly written and tried to sound overly bureaucratic, which is a shame. (Perhaps the author was a recently commissioned Ensign on his/her first assignment...) In reality, it would be constructive for all of us, independent of nationality, to understand how a boarding in international waters can be legal.

Fundamentally, the answer is in the form of a series of bi- and multi-lateral treaties. Each of these provides all the signatories to the treaty with mutual rights: IOW in e.g. a bi-lateral treaty between Canada and the U.S., each nation authorizes the other to board & inspect (IAW the treaty's provisions) its respective vessels. In reality, most nations have no or very limited presence beyond their own national waters and so these treaty-based rights are most often exercised by the USCG on behalf of the U.S. but, legally, the reverse is just as legitimate and U.S. yachts should be just as prepared to be boarded by officials from other nations. Typically, the boarding is done in one of two ways: directly via USCG assets or in the form of a boarding party of USCG personnel off USN ships.

In practice, this takes one of two forms: Either the officer in charge of the boarding directs the foreign flagged vessel to prepare to be boarded, that request is honored, and aboard they go OR the vessel's master refuses for some reason. In the latter case, the USCG personnel contact a shoreside 24/7 USCG center which in turn can be in direct contact with the appropriate officials of any other signatory to any of these treaties. The treaty is cited, acknowledgement of the rights to board are confirmed by the other country, and this confirmation is radioed back to the USCG asset at sea, after which the master is updated that his own country has approved the boarding and he'd better comply. The boarding is not unlateral in nature. Occasionally the request made by the USCG is denied, as e.g. when Mexico claims it will dispatch an asset to the location and inspect its own vessel. (Mexico in particular chooses to be very protective about its flagged vessels being boarded; some converted fishing and commercial vessels flagged in Mexico are used for drug transhipment from Columbia's Pacific Coast. These two facts may be related; draw your own conclusion...)

Hopefully, a little light on a hot-button topic.

Jack
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Old 03-02-2006, 14:27   #12
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More light to the hot button topic - I think the powerpoint presentation stated in a roundabout way what has been law for some time. They don't have the right to arbitrarily board foreign-flagged vessels on the high sea. They can board unflagged or questionably-flagged vessels on the high sea; they can board foreign-flagged vessels when exercising the right of hot pursuit; and they can board foreign-flagged vessels when suspected of "international jurisdiction" crimes (like piracy). To board any other foreign-flagged vessel, it must be a "consensual" boarding - that is the master must consent to it, and they must debark immediately if the master withdraws that consent. This is an over-simplification - there are rules regarding fishing and exploitation in the EEZ, and rules that apply regarding FISC concerns in the contiguous zone that also make it permissible for the USCG to board foreign-flag vessels. Nothing like international law to spark up a lively conversation though.

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Old 03-02-2006, 18:09   #13
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Treaties

Sometimes Yankees and Southerners are surprised to find out that NZ and OZZ were involved in the Viet Nam war. It is because of SEATO, the South East Asia Treaty Organization. That is a mutual aid treaty, where each signing nation is bound to help the other in times of need.
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Old 03-02-2006, 21:08   #14
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Hell man.

Hey Micheal. I knew about NZ & OZ being involed in the Vietnam war.
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Old 03-02-2006, 21:15   #15
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VNW

CaptainK, well done, you just earned a beer the next time I see you.
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