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Old 26-04-2008, 12:34   #1
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Thumbs up USCG to lose Judicial Powers to NTSB

In light of the recent(?) revelations that USCG Judges were coerced to find all mariners guilty(less than 20 out of over 6000 were aquitted)
Congress is working on a bill(s) that will remove judicial oversight from the USCG.

Good News.....Absolute Power corrupts.....
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Old 26-04-2008, 12:45   #2
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I was stopped by the C.G. twice in 20 years. The first time they were complete gentlemen. The second time they were just the opposite. A LOT OVER ZEALOUS with their duties. Good cop, bad cop, and some drama thrown in. What should have taken 20 minutes lasted over 3 hours.

The driver of the rubber duckie slammed my boat twice, and we were dead into the wind stopped with less than 8 knots of wind. The next day I called the commander, and he apologized. He was well aware of the 2 troublemakers on the boat too.

They absolutely felt as if they were gods, and could do as they please with us. I hope those two got a spanking!!!!!!
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Old 26-04-2008, 13:27   #3
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Good.... No one entity should be witness, prosecutor, judge and jury. That is simply not constitutional. Only third world countries and the USCG have similar prosecutorial systems.

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. It gets real old having kids in black army boots and side arms in their early twenties asking questions with the intent of looking for something to either arrest me by or finding something out of compliance so that they can write a hefty citation. I dread the day I have a fire extinguisher whose certification has expired and have to make an appearance at Coast Guard Court.

It is time the average citizen have a reasonable defense if they are accused of something for which they are innocent of.

This is some of the best news I have heard in some time concerning this perverse system of injustice.
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Old 26-04-2008, 13:33   #4
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Chief,
Any links to this?

mm
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Old 26-04-2008, 14:26   #5
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It's not quite a done deal. Excerpt from an article in the Baltimore Sun dated 25 April, 2008:

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday to dismantle the U.S. Coast Guard's Baltimore-based administrative law system amid charges of bias in its handling of cases against civilian mariners.

Part of a sweeping $8.4 billion spending bill that now goes to the Senate, the action strips the Coast Guard of its role in hearing negligence and misconduct cases against seafarers and would transfer those cases to the National Transportation Safety Board in October.

The move follows an investigation by The Sun last year showing that mariners prevailed in only 14 of about 6,300 charges brought over eight years. Most of the cases were settled or resulted in guilty pleas without reaching a courtroom, and some were dismissed, but overall Coast Guard prosecutors had a 97 percent success rate.

Under the existing system, the Coast Guard is responsible for both prosecuting cases and providing an impartial forum for mariners. By separating those functions, lawmakers said yesterday, they hoped to guarantee judicial independence and restore credibility to the process.


Coast Guard may lose law unit -- baltimoresun.com
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Old 26-04-2008, 16:24   #6
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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)
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Old 26-04-2008, 19:43   #7
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I have no beef with the rank and file Coasties.....

It is their Lawyers and Judges who have perverted the justice system.
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Old 26-04-2008, 20:05   #8
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Wow...our CG are there to help us. The police, police, and they are always polite and very rarely board. They will ask to see certain bits and pieces at times and will enforce speed rules. Push the boundaries and they will arrest you. Plain and simple. They also do search and rescue work over a huge patch. Most of us like them (a lot) I feel sorry for you guys ....and the CG, it must be crap having to deal with a "culture" like that....
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Old 26-04-2008, 20:09   #9
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Once again....It is the Judges and Lawyers for the Coast Guard

Not the ones that board you.

Click on the link that the other poster put in about the article in the Baltimore Sunpapers
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Old 26-04-2008, 20:30   #10
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The Coast Guard is part of our security. Support them!!!!!!!!!
They are no different than any other branch of our young men that protect us.
Thank God that they are there.
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Old 26-04-2008, 20:59   #11
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By Jove.......It is not the Officers and men and women on the front lines.....

It is the pencil-necked-power hungry remfs The Judges and the USCG Lawyers that are being pulled down a notch or three.

USCG Baltimore is among the worst in that regard.
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Old 26-04-2008, 21:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
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.

I skipper 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.

David
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Old 26-04-2008, 22:28   #13
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Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
By Jove.......It is not the Officers and men and women on the front lines.....

It is the pencil-necked-power hungry remfs The Judges and the USCG Lawyers that are being pulled down a notch or three.

USCG Baltimore is among the worst in that regard.
Chief...Amen. Their kangaroo court hopefully is coming to an end. Its about time licensed mariners have a chance against them.
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Old 27-04-2008, 04:37   #14
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They have MACHINE GUNS mounted on their RIBs ....serious ?.......you guys must make a total habit of having out of date flares and not wearing your life jackets....

I just realized how nuts that is> What if someone shoots back ? they're in an RIB for goodness sake !!
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Old 27-04-2008, 04:51   #15
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Was aware that the USCG were not exactly the same as in the UK ......but having their own courts is a new one on me.........I can see how that would go badly.........
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