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Old 09-06-2014, 16:17   #76
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

I,m with Piloto on this. The law was written for tax collection pourposes on commercial vessels way back when there was no such thing as pleasure boats. I can in no way reconcile in my head how my private yacht isnt as private as my car my RV or my home. If I cross international boarders I can see some logic but being treated guilty until proven innocent is what we effectivily have with the laws the way they are. They "USCG & LE" come on board looking for somthing to find wrong beit safety equipment illegal items open unlocked Y Valves etc, without probable cause. I know it's wrong in my soul and so do all of you even if your ok with the practice. Not unlike the south who knew in their souls slavery was wrong but it was ok because thats just the way it was. I just wish we had the collective testicles to demmand our privacy like the dirt dwellers enjoy. Until then bend over and take it!
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Old 09-06-2014, 16:29   #77
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

Doesn't really matter who you're with and who you're not with.

Based on what I've seen on the water, and since you brought up cars, I wish they could stop your car more often, not boats less often.

If driving is a privilege (and, well, it is) then recreational boating certainly isn't a right.

Under the U.S. constitution, you only have one absolute right, and the right to privacy isn't it. All other rights, without exception, are regulated and limited.
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Old 09-06-2014, 16:37   #78
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

Yup Jammer you and I will never see eye to eye on this and Im guessing a whole lot of other issues. Remember I did say probable cause before my privacy is invaded no matter where I am. Still I wish you no ill will. This time I just agree to disagree with your position.

Peace
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Old 09-06-2014, 17:14   #79
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

No rights? ..... of course you have rights. 'right to legal representation. "right not to volunteer information. 'right to due process. 'right to free speech. 'right to petition the govenment for a redress of grievences. ...the list goes on!

I am curious why people have reported these events of being stopped and searched by the USCG for as many as 20 or 30 times! We anchored behind the right shoulder of the Statue of Liberty after 9-11 and were never questioned. We've been actively cruising in US waters since 1971 with no other residence than our boat and we have never once been stopped or questioned in any manner by the USCG. We have made 23 transits of the US East Coast all without more than a casual wave at a passing Coast Guard vessel.

So my question. If some people are stopped many times and many say to expect a stop and search once every year or two, why have we spent 43 years cruising without an event?
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Old 09-06-2014, 17:24   #80
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

I don't think anyone here, even the folks with a rather loose grip on our legal system, suggested that you have no rights.
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Old 09-06-2014, 17:49   #81
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

US Army conducting Special Forces Dive Training off Flemming Key (near Key West). Dive flag displayed 500+ yards away. Me transiting the channel (again 500+ yards from the flag) strictly under sail was approached by an all black boat and told to stop my boat.
"Stop my boat why?"
"We are conducting dive operations in this area"
"Over there?" (indicating direction of the dive flag)
"Yes"
"You the Coast Guard?"
"No, Army Special Forces"
"Bugger Off" (maintaining course and speed)
Second black boat shows up..... "STOP YOUR VESSEL NOW" (over PA speaker)
"Shoot me" (maintaining course and speed)
Fast forward 10 minutes............
USCG boat pulls along side with the usual where you going where you coming from....
"we will follow you to your slip"
"suit yourself"
Arrival at the slip 10 minutes later......
"Mind if we board?"
"Sure, no problem, as if I have a choice"
"You know why we are here?"
"Yup, the Army has no idea of what a dive flag means" (Much laughter among the Coasties)
"You have any weapons aboard?"
"Yes several" (went on to name types and locations)
"Why so many?"
(looking around at the boarding crew) "I count eleven visible among you folks; I have them for he same reason as you; I want to go home at night, and I live in South Florida" (more chuckles)
(very junior female officer fumbling with pistol trying to unload same) "Ma'am, I would suggest that if you are not familiar with that you give it to someone else before you have an accidental discharge" (More chuckles from the more senior guys.... she was not impressed)
Went through the usual fire extinguisher, PFD, signal, head valve, etc, inspection with flying colors.....
"Well sir, you certainly keep everything in order"
"Thank you, I figure my life depends on it"
"Here's your yellow sheet; show it to any other boarding party for the next year and it will make things much smoother..... Oh and here is my personal contact info if you have any further problems with the Army (laughing)"
"thank y'all for your service, have a good day"
END OF STORY
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Old 09-06-2014, 18:08   #82
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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I don't think anyone here, even the folks with a rather loose grip on our legal system, suggested that you have no rights.
I was looking at the whole thread from the begining and specifically responding to the statement in post three that many seemed to accept. In addition, post four stated that you have no rights when it comes to boarding. True, you are obliged to accept the boarding, but not without rights. ....and yes, you are right,- there are those with a loose grip!
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Old 09-06-2014, 18:29   #83
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

Ok, I'm back. Capt. Force, you're lucky- that's why. Jammer six, you likely agree with the ability of law enforcement to override personal freedoms. I don't. That being said, (and if I'm wrong about that, then I've misread your response). The current adaptations of legal rights to law enforcement HAVE surrendered freedom for the sake of safety and those that do, deserve neither. I think that's the loosely paraphrased B. Franklin quote. And that being said, it was just about a week and a half ago that congress brought the head of homeland security to hearing and spoke to him regarding the blanket searches and unlawful detentions of law abiding citizen pilots in response to AOPA's (aircraft owners and pilots association) pursuit of resolution and restraint to the actions. The head of HSCPB acknowledged their statements and pledged to reduce and change the tenor of these detainments. We'll see how that one goes.

Of course, I once had an extended "discussion" with a friend of mine who happened to be a leader of a local "tea party" group about the principal that everyone has the right (by our constitution) to face their accuser, within the context of the prisoners in Guantanamo, being held without charges indefinitely. Now that horse is way out of the barn and well out to sea. In time, he came back to me, having retread that "antiquated" document and agreed. It wasn't that every American had the right to face his accuser, but rather every man (politically correctly non-gender speaking). That being said, I would have little difficulty killing them on the field of battle and avoiding the feed bill.

Anyway, I didn't think I would indulge in too much of such a discussion if I didn't feel that we as citizens, need to avoid the convenience of acquiescence and stand for the proper reasons on principal. Further, in no way would I generally categorize the CG as "heavy handed", but rather as being there for all the right reasons. As in all LE operations (not just CG, but various interpretations of HSCBP, city, state, and county cops), there are a lot of opportunities for excess and over zealousness due to ramped up emotions and perception of circumstances. I am lucky too, in that I have never experienced any unwarranted boardings or inspections, either by land, air or sea. But if I do, I think I will likely maintain my right to refuse such intrusion without specific probable cause with the exception of international boarder entries, etc. meanwhile, on my plane and on my boat there is a sticker that says "No Warrant?, the owner of this vessel does not consent to searches" (available free from the publisher of General Aviation News-google it). That being said, neither so I object to "safety" inspections provided they are exercised in the proper context and circumstances and hey, if you got the gun on me-yeah you'll likely go ahead and search my car, boat or plane, maybe even my home. But when you're done, I'm coming after you legally and extracting some measure of long drawn out and costly justice, and it might cost you in the long run too for having forced me to submit to your view of things, even if only temporarily. But I want your gun, your job and my constitutional rights recognized in the process. Cops don't make great lawyers but they sure seem to try to continually interpret their version of the law.
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Old 09-06-2014, 18:44   #84
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

And captgeo, great story. I'll get off my soapbox, let the CG board and avoid all others. If it goes half as well as your posted incident, I'll still be laughing with them when they leave.
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Old 09-06-2014, 19:16   #85
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Jammer six, you likely agree with the ability of law enforcement to override personal freedoms. I don't. That being said, (and if I'm wrong about that, then I've misread your response).
I haven't stated whether I agree or disagree with the powers of LEOs except in passing-- I mentioned that I wished they had more power to throw drivers off the road.

What I believe, practice and suggest is an understanding of our legal system, as accurate as one can make it within one's resources, as a basis for further discussion.

Several people in this discussion have indicated that they neither understand nor agree with the current state of federal law, and since those points cancel each other out in my opinion, I simply made statements that were each individually completely true, but were also subject to wide, emotional misinterpretation. (Emotional being the only mechanism available once understanding is absent.)

Carry an emotional, uninformed view to an extreme, and you end up with the tea party.

If the current state of the law does not meet one's approval, the first action one is duty bound to take is to become educated, and the next duty one has is to change it, which almost certainly will involve more education.

The rest is arm waving, tea party, and internet nonsense. I have no patience with such complaints. I certainly have no patience with the emotional reactions of someone who doesn't understand the current state of affairs accurately. That's as ridiculous as a surgeon listening to someone complain that surgery is bloody. I also have no patience with one who is willing to ignore either of those two duties.

This thread is actually a perfect example.

You say the Coast Guard should have less power to conduct warrantless searches. Consider, for a moment, if I were to take the position that it's fine the way it is.

How are we to decide? What mechanism could we design that would ensure as much justice as possible for both you and I?

Gee.

Would we need something that looks like the Supreme Court, perhaps?
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Old 09-06-2014, 19:47   #86
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

As Jammer knows, the constitutionally recommended way to fix the Coast Guard search overreach is an act of Congress. The Coast Guard is relying on their interpretation of a federal law - in this case a very old law. Laws are updated all the time to deal with changed circumstances. This one is overdue.

We've spent almost 15 years being told that anything is justified in the war on terror. I don't think many people - including most members of Congress - like where we've arrived. I think change is coming.

I tell my Congressman every chance I get that the Coast Guard should need probable cause to board a pleasure boat. I could use more voices
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Old 09-06-2014, 19:53   #87
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Sorry, the second time must have been a thumb slip. HSCPB: homeland security customs border patrol. All branches have been reallocated under homeland security in the federal hierarchy. This is how they refer to themselves currently. There is a definite crossover between aviation and nautical issues of warrant less searches, etc. except in cases of ports of entry, the authorization is not there.further, for those who say "I have nothing to hide, so I don't mind if they board and search" I would refer them to the Ben Franklin quote below the one posters notes. Warrant less searches, phone taps, & over reaching of invasions of privacy are all surrenders of essential constitutional rights in my view. The patriot act was one of the greatest violations of the constitution ever orchestrated and continues in all it's many forms. I don't have anything to hide, but you are not free to enter my home, violate my privacy or find ways to enforce your views upon me a free person who has demonstrated no threat to the public good, without specific cause.
Frankly, Warrantless searches was one of the grievances against the King. We fought a war over it - and then - one of the oldest laws on the books gave that power back to the revenue collection arm (now Coast Guard). There was no such thing as a private yacht then so the law was interpreted to include them when they came along. It will take an act of Congress to un-do it. Don't hold your breath.
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Old 09-06-2014, 20:09   #88
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

Right, congress, Supreme Court, I'm not holding my breath. Or being condescending, patronizing or elitist. I wish there was fairness and justice in all our interactions. I know better. Reality is a beach.
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Old 10-06-2014, 06:16   #89
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

The Royal Cork Yacht Club was founded in Great Britain in 1720. There may not have been any formal yacht clubs in America in 1781, but there most assuredly was such a thing as a private yacht back then, and I'm pretty sure that our founding fathers were worldly enough to be aware of their existence.

Surely you are not trying to make the argument that the founding fathers were all a bunch of narrow-minded boobs who couldn't conceive of the possibility that some day someone might own a private yacht here in the United States!
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Old 10-06-2014, 15:38   #90
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Surely you are not trying to make the argument that the founding fathers were all a bunch of narrow-minded boobs who couldn't conceive of the possibility that some day someone might own a private yacht here in the United States!
I think his argument is that he doesn't know why warrantless searches are still permitted, and it all seems wrong to him.
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