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Old 11-06-2014, 12:54   #121
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

I would like to point out that any boat owner can take advantage of the voluntary safety check system, where you get a check of the boat by a CG auxiliary member, and a sticker if you pass. I see it as a way to check the boat, and get some useful pointers, and if the sticker reduces the chance of an inspection, that's a bonus. It's not my primary motivation, though.
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Old 11-06-2014, 13:26   #122
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

MarkSF- I had a voluntary inspection 3 weeks ago.

The regular USCG said the aux inspection was nice and continued their inspection. Like I said in my original post, it appeared the courtesy inspection was their way of boarding to see if everything was legit.

Either way they are welcome - just next time 4 of them board, they need to bring a bundt cake or something
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Old 11-06-2014, 19:00   #123
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

I thought you all might appreciate a look into a parallel universe:U.S. Customs: An Agency Out of Control?
The controversial Customs and Border Protection aircraft stop-and-search program is far worse than we originally thought. And it's getting bigger.
By Stephen Pope / Published: Jun 05, 2014

Enlarge Photo
After 9/11 the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agencys authority and funding saw massive expansions as its mission swelled from border security to a statutory mandate to keep a watchful eye for terrorist threats anywhere in the country.

Part of that broadened authority includes the CBPs General Aviation Pilot Certificate Inspection program, which as you probably know has led to warrantless stops and even searches on airport tarmacs of more than 50 innocent AOPA members. This assault on GA probably gives you cause for concern. It might even make you angry. But guess what? It's worse than you thought. Much worse.

Speaking yesterday at a business aviation conference in New York hosted by Jetnet, Pete Bunce, the president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, shed some light on a government agency that represents perhaps the biggest threat to general aviation of any of the big Washington bureaucracies and thats saying something.

Its absolutely extraordinary whats going on at Customs, Bunce told the audience. After touching on the stop-and-search program, Bunce explained that under CBPs e-APIS electronic advance passenger information system general aviation aircraft arriving in the country are required to give Customs agents a plus-or-minus 15-minute window of their ETA, yet the agents can be more than two hours late with no repercussions.

As for the CBPs warrantless GA pilot intercept program, its more invasive than any of us imagined. In an interview this week I asked a top Customs official, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Eddie Young, to describe the GA program. What I learned was deeply troubling.

Sitting behind rows of computer screens in a command center in Riverside, California, specially trained Customs agents keep a constant watchful eye over most every GA airplane flying anywhere in the country. What are they looking for? "Suspicious behavior," is the official answer. What does that mean? According to CBP, a suspicisus airplane is one that flies from one uncontrolled airport to another, isn't on a flight plan, flies low, or flies long distances before landing in other words, all the perfectly normal and totally legal types of operations general aviation pilots engage in every day.

The CBPs authority was massviely expanded in the name of terrorism, but the agency has never intercepted a single terrorist or disrupted a terrorist plot. Instead, they've caught a small handful of drug runners hauling marijuana or cocaine. Not only has a program that was created for the express purpose of thwarting terrorism been completely ineffective, as the program exists today it couldnt prevent a terrorist act if it tried.

I asked for detailed figures on the CBPs stop-and-search program and was flabbergasted by what I received.

Every year the agency opens investigations of more and more airplanes, nearly all of them flown by totally innocent pilots. In FY2011, the CBP investigated 239 GA aircraft, which resulted in 11 arrests or violations of some kind. In FY2012 the number grew to 356 investigations, yet violations grew to just 13. In FY2013 the CBP investigated 428 aircraft, resulting in 17 violations. So far in FY2014, the CBP has investigated an incredible 474 GA aircraft with just eight violations to account for all that time and money.

Just how much money are we talking about? The CBP refused to say, explaining that its budget isnt broken down that way. But the obvious answer is that the GA stop-and-search program is costing tax payers a bundle, with no terrorist plots foiled and only a tiny number of alleged wrongdoers arrested among hundreds of innocent pilots.

Its only fair to point out that not every GA flight that CBP investigates leads to a confrontation with law enforcement, but hundreds of them do. Young told me the CBP will continue the controversial program, but that the agency is going to great pains to ensure its agents treat innocent pilots better. I mentioned that I didnt think it should be within the CBPs purview to go after all these blameless pilots, whose only crime was doing exactly what the Federal Aviation Regulations very clearly permit them to do. Youngs response was, Well, it is our statutory right to do so.

When I responded that perhaps Congress needs to step in to amend the CBPs statutory authority the suggestion was met only with silence. There was no need for Young to respond, of course, nor would I really expect him to.

As for members of Congress who are part of the General Aviation Caucuses, I implore you: It's time to rein in an agency that very clearly is out of control.


Read more at U.S. Customs and Border Protection: An Agency Out of Control? | Flying Magazine
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Old 11-06-2014, 19:15   #124
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

I keep reading people who are trying to make a 4th Amendment Case with USCG (not local LEO) boardings. Again, the SCOUSA has ruled multiple times on this issue and the right to board is pretty much unlimited, and has been for the past couple of centuries... here is one of the controlling cases...

http://www.law2.byu.edu/lawreview/ar...1981/1/bec.pdf

Maybe it shouldn't be this way and a new US Code should be passed but for now this is the 'law of the land'
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Old 11-06-2014, 20:05   #125
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Originally Posted by piloto View Post
I thought you all might appreciate a look into a parallel universe:
Why?

There's nothing relevant to the Coast Guard's authority to stop boats there.

Neither Homeland Security nor terrorism had anything to do with how and why the Coast Guard has the authority it has.

This is a red herring.

Passing law that would limit the Coast Guard's authority would be a long, extremely difficult, uphill battle with little chance of success.

Given modern resources, there are far more important places to spend those resources than dealing with what is a fairly limited issue.
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Old 12-06-2014, 21:22   #126
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Oops! You're right. My mistake. And my apologies to the men of Cork. My great-grandfather (born somewhere in Ireland, though I'm not certain where) is probably rolling over in his grave. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is located in Cork, Ireland.

Nonetheless, the point remains. It is complete and utter nonsense to suggest that there was no such thing as a pleasure yacht at the time that the U.S. Constitution was being written.
You note "ROYAL YACHT CLUB" as your example. We threw those bums out. We all smelly commoners would not have bee allowed in even if someone gave us a boat. In colonial America & the new nation, there wasn't a vessel large enough to qualify as a yacht that wasn't engaged in commercial enterprise, fishing or hauling. We had just fought a war. We were broke. People did not have the luxury of that sort of leisure time or the discretionary income. Only when the captains of industry began to schmooze could they pay for that level of entertainment. If you read the history of the revenue act, its clear that all vessels large enough to be commercial, in fact, were and we needed the tax money they were avoiding.

New York YC was not founded till 1844 and the America's Cup was brought home in 1851.
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Old 17-10-2015, 09:24   #127
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Indeed. Besides, they do have the authority.

I can see Capngeo's story ending far differently with different skippers on the Army boats. How many of us would have refused the boarding like George did? If the water cops can board at will, why not the Army?

I also question the need for Army SF divers. What's next? Air Force SF divers?

There's a reason we always send the SEALs.
To everyone else, sorry about the necro post.

Blue Crab, I don't think you know what Army SF do. Army SF have a significantly different job from Navy SEALs. They have many areas of expertise, but are most widely known for training, organizing and leading indigenous forces. They have high level military skills and regionally focused cultural training (to include language training). To accomplish their mission, they train in many methods of insertion to an Area of Operation. Some teams specialize in water insertion, thus dive school.

SEALs are primarily recce and direct action (raids) elements, with a specific maritime focus. They are very good at this. Beyond this mission set, or environment, and their capabilities quickly drop off.

If the afore-mentioned teams (SF or SEALs) need AF teams to guide air support, AF teams with relevant training (to include dive-qualification) are attached.

You send SEALs when your need matches their capabilities.

Now, I'll fully admit that the SF Dive School interactions with local boaters in the case mentioned was a bit obnoxious.

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Old 17-10-2015, 12:43   #128
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

The USCG has, " Customs Authority" pursuant to the United States Code. They can stop your vessel and search it, no probable cause is needed.
They will also go out in a hurricane and look for you if you are overdue as in the latest tragedy involving El Faro.
Its what they do.
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Old 18-10-2015, 11:53   #129
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Originally Posted by JayCall View Post
There is a fair amount of misinformation on this. As lawyers are wont to do, this is not legal advice and should not be taken for such.

It is fairly simple:

1. The USCG has the authority to board any US vessel anywhere in the world.
Not quite. The USCG does not have the right to board in the territorial waters of a foreign nation. The United States does not recognized the exclusive economic zone as being territorial and routinely practices freedom of navigation through EEZs and performs boardings within the EEZs of foreign nations, but will not enter or board within the 12 mile territorial boundary that the U.S. has recognized since 1988, without obtaining permission from the foreign nation.

Otherwise yes. Not to be pedantic, but if you're representing the actual facts, then they should actually be factual.
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Old 18-10-2015, 12:01   #130
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

A side question here is "Why choose to board my boat?"

A lot of us here are sailors operating pleasure boats that are obviously equipped for daysailing or weekending only, and it might be inscrutable why the USCG would single one of us out for a boarding--especially if you're not in Florida, the Gulf, or SoCal (where drug smuggling would be common).

The answer is training. When a Coast Guard commander needs to train new boarding crews, they pick the easiest targets out there: slow sailboats with compliant, older crews. These are the quick "safety inspection" stops that are very polite, where you get the obvious young ones and the one crusty chief standing back and watching.

The more aggressive boardings are your older, more experienced boarding parties who suspect you of something.
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Old 18-10-2015, 12:03   #131
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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Not quite. The USCG does not have the right to board in the territorial waters of a foreign nation. The United States does not recognized the exclusive economic zone as being territorial and routinely practices freedom of navigation through EEZs and performs boardings within the EEZs of foreign nations, but will not enter or board within the 12 mile territorial boundary that the U.S. has recognized since 1988, without obtaining permission from the foreign nation.

Otherwise yes. Not to be pedantic, but if you're representing the actual facts, then they should actually be factual.
Whilst you are factually correct, your being pedantic
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Old 18-10-2015, 23:48   #132
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Whilst you are factually correct, your being pedantic
I thought a Pedantic was a foot doctor.
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Old 18-10-2015, 23:59   #133
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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I thought a Pedantic was a foot doctor.
Nah....just a punk.....as in 'punctilious'....
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Old 19-10-2015, 03:01   #134
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Re: USCG Legal Search Question?

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I thought a Pedantic was a foot doctor.
Isn't a foot doctor a podiatrist?
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Old 19-10-2015, 07:27   #135
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Isn't a foot doctor a podiatrist?
Cleanup on aisle 5, please.
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