Originally Posted by Ram
I have been boarded dozens of times because I do things on the SF Bay that are just not typical of what most other vessels are doing
OK David M<i will take the bait what is it you do that gets you all that attition?
I use to get boarded about twicw a month running a dive charter bussess out of Palm Beach, and they were always polite and goo to me,(but a pain in the ass all the same)
I would say that typically in a year I am questioned by the Coasties anywhere from 2 to 4 times a year...depending. Over 16 years, it has added up.
a small research
vessel. In doing so, I do things that just are not ordinary like towing nets, acoustic arrays, magnetometers, side scan sonars or lowering other odd looking things in and out of the water
. The magnetometers look just like torpedos or some sort of a weapon in fact. I also go into places where most boats don't ordinarily go like old industrial areas, near bridge piers etc. It seems to catch the Coasties eyes, they get curious and want to see what I am doing. Many times they just ask what I am doing and then zoom off. Sometimes they want to come aboard.
Other than the irritation factor of having to stop what I am doing which delays the work, I have no problem with answering their questions since what they are doing is providing maritime security
and doing law enforcement. I have respect for the Coasties who are doing their jobs out on the water
. I realize that they are being directed by higher ups and policy and I realize that ultimately their actions are dictated by policy and procedure for which they have no control over. I just wish the higher ups in the Coast Guard would issue something like a "no-board pass" so that I can go about my business with minimal delays.
Also, perhaps it is just me but the para-military look they have now as compared to a number of years ago is unnecessarily intimidating to boaters. It reminds me of the Mexican Federales....their dress is an overkill for what they are doing. The constitution in a nutshell says that the military is not supposed to be used domestically. I won't even go into the machine guns
they now have mounted on their orange RIB's
I am glad the Coast Guard is out there ultimately. I just think their justifications for boardings could be improved for people who are out there doing their jobs.