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Old 31-07-2012, 00:38   #16
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Re: We are being terrorized

In Virginia, boaters are legally liable for damages caused by their wakes. If it is the same in FL, sounds like all you need is to get this harassment on video.

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Old 31-07-2012, 00:40   #17
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Re: We are being terrorized

Hatch i can sympathize with this serious problem and understand how it is a worrying situation that could escalate further with either harm done to your own boat or personal harm. Its a very serious situation and it needs serious thought. 2012 is our time and really all kinds of people are doing all kinds of things... i live on an island in new zealand and even here there is almost similar stuff going on.
I believe common sense is your best defense with what we would call waterhoons. The more you literally show yourself against this kind of drunkiness drugs the more they will reteliate. You either over power the situation with more power than what they are showing or NOT SHOW YOURSELF and they may leave sooner. It would seem these people are bouncing off or reacting to what is happening .. eg a strong light on them. The police seem unconcerned with trivia they would probably think until your situation escalates to something more serious. Moving away and they could follow you anywhere .... .. so really you need to stand your ground at some point of time ..... that
means all kinds of thinks and choosing that stance is something that is necessary for a man on a boat when dire straights come upon.

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Old 31-07-2012, 04:29   #18
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Re: We are being terrorized

think - floating water tacks

the only problem is collecting them all again so others don't run over them

I'm kidding! Video camera seems the best way to start.
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
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Old 31-07-2012, 04:50   #19
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Film it. I had a neighbor who was causing issues. Eventually the timing was right for me to record some stuff, he spent a month in jail, got evicted, and I have a restraining order. Do the authorities a favor and get proof.

But I seriously would have tied a fishing line to some poly rope for the third attack. Tied the line to my boat, let the rope go. Kinda like I made my own karma. He wouldn't have had an issue if he wasn't so close to my boat going so fast. If he didn't hit it, the fishing line allows me to retrieve it.
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Old 31-07-2012, 04:52   #20
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Re: We are being terrorized

I have a different view than all of you, so you are probably not going to like it.

My experience tells me that the OP did something, possibly subconsciously, that caused you to become his target. In my experience, a face-to-face discussion will go a lot further than anything you have done or anything that has been suggested. People prone to aggressive behavior, generally escalate a notch when they feel they have upset their target, or when their target photographs them, videos them, or takes some other aggressive move.

If it were me, I would ask the person if he would tell me what I did wrong so that I could apologize. Sounds like you have had more than one chance for a face-to-face.

Think about this. Suppose the CG or police interviews this guy based on your complaint. Don't you think he will know who reported him? They are not going to put him in jail. What to you think the outcome will be from his scolding?

Hope this helps.

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Old 31-07-2012, 05:06   #21
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Re: We are being terrorized

Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
Which is exactly how these threads go from helping the OP to being expressions of ego and aggression and finally closed down by the mods.
The OP contacted THREE marine authorities, none of whom would do anything to " serve and protect " him based on his legit complaints.
One group lets the hooligans get away with 4 violations, by my count.

If you haven't experienced this type of harassment personally, believe me, you really don't want to.

It took a visit to the local jet-ski rental operation, and informing the manager that I would be securing a 20ft light pole floating behind my boat (well within my licenced 80ft swing), before he would stop leading speeding PWCs thru the mooring area.
The mooring area,BTW, is a signed and legislated turle breeding and protected area.
Local cops and fisheries did nothing when I complained.
so many projects--so little time !!
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:13   #22
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Re: We are being terrorized

Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Of course the beauty of being on a boat is you can pull up the pick and move when you get jack of your neighbours and surrounds.
Exactly. By far the best advice in this thread so far.

Why would you choose to live with that situation and all that aggravation? Why would you choose to spend your time begging the police for protection, videoing drunken jackasses, writing up complaints, and worrying whether the conflict will escalate?

It's your choice. Do you need to prove that you're a real man who won't back down? Teach the jackasses a lesson? Save the world from drunken teenagers? Clean up the community so that it's safe for decent people? If that is really what you choose to be doing while cruising, then by all means -- video the cuprits, collect evidence, hire a lawyer, file a civil suit, talk to the local DA, buy a gun for when they come back really angry, buy and extra powerful spotlight, etc., etc., etc., etc. Enjoy it, really, if that's what you choose to do with your time. Maybe you can write a book about it and make some money.

If, on the other hand, you choose to be on the water to be relaxed and happy, like I do, then pull up that anchor and find a more congenial place with nicer people in it -- there are millions of them.

It's your choice.
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:29   #23
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Re: We are being terrorized

If anyone questions your poly line, you explain that it is your man-over-board safety line
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:32   #24
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts and help.

First - I have thought of video taping the events when they happen.
My iphone doesn't do well will night videos or photos of things in the distance.
I have a video camera (not a new CD type) and even with light, you can't make out objects clearly at a distance of 30' or more at night.
(but, we can try again, with a brighter spot light)

Next, it is very difficult to stand and hold anything, while all this is taking place, once they get the boat in motion, it perpetuates and builds.

Some of you suggested creating a type of "Police Road Spike Strip" using floating Poly line.

I have a friend that suggested that as well.
Two forms (like suggested above)

1- A 20' yellow poly line with a floating heavy end for tossing. If he misses it, and leaves, I can still retrieve it before someone else runs over it.

2- (like what was mentioned above) I can create a very visible anchor float with a flag. Attach a black poly line from the anchor float to my bow using a light Zip tie.

I'm shouldn't assume this, but I'm thinking it's OK to have a line attached to my anchor float for helpful reasons when pulling up anchor.

I may not always have time to throw my home made spike strip out, but my bow will always be ready.

My concern is this, many sailors (8 out of 10) come extremely close to boats out here as they pass. (I've had 25' and larger boats, pass within 20' of my bow and stern).

If they are under-sail, no problem they just glide over the line, and I may have to redo it.

But those under power or even small powered dinghies, come very close - I'm concerned about them.

Please keep in mind that we are all approx. 300' or further from one another, coming within 75' or less, really isn't necessary, but they do.
(I can warn my neighbors)

Are there any serious thought, concerns, or legal problems that come to mind with any of this ?

And for what its worth - I have spoke with the city council, they spoke with the city police.
Everyone says there are no funds available for marine patrol, so their marine patrol only comes out once a month, or special events.
Most of the marine patrol is uneducated in marine law, and the ground units rarely respond, if at all, even if it's not necessary to have a boat to help correct situations.

Thank you
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:43   #25
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Re: We are being terrorized

Often times, there is more to a story like this than first described. One thought that comes to mind is why this problem occurs to only one individual. Presumably, there are a lot of boats moored nearby and the implication is that this problem is isolated to one boat. Certainly, if it was a widespread concern of a number of people, the authorities would be taking a more active role one would think.
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:44   #26
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Re: We are being terrorized

Moving is Good advice, except as pointed out above, they had boats too.

I personally would have ignored the loud music. earplugs work for me, and music while anoying doesn't rise to the range of criminal behavior.

The drunk teenagers, (I would guess were probably related to SOMEONE, or else why didn't they get a BWI/DWI?). It sounds as though the teenager incident was handled correctly; 1. Law enforcement did arrive, 2. the incident stopped. 3. One of the teenagers expressed remorse.

In my book I would count that as a win.

As far as prevention? There are few options.

1. Anchor in an even more remote spot, (less likely to encounter drunk teenagers, but if someone DOES mean you harm, even less access to Law Enforcement).

2. Anchor in a group of like minded, quiet loving, older liveaboard long range trawlers. You are less likely to be harrassed, and you will have more witnesses on your side.

Just to quote a fact of life in Florida, not to start a gun thread, or stir up the nuts, But; If you are being robbed, the police will show up in 3-5 hours to get a report. BUT if you are returning fire, they will show up in seconds,....Just saying.
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:49   #27
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Re: We are being terrorized

I'd just call up the coast guard and tell them there's a boat running without lights which is tossing packages into the water...
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Old 31-07-2012, 05:52   #28

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Re: We are being terrorized

Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Sounds like both cases were pretty standard drunken *******/teenager types. Not much you can to do 'defend' yourself against a circling boat and wake. But keeping a video camera handy (with night mode, or keep it next to the spotlight) might give you all the evidence you need to pursue a civil case, or even criminal charges if the cops ever showed up.

I completely disagree. This is new and escalated behavior in that area, but the area IS under-protected. I am forwarding that post to the owner of my marina, and I'm notifying a friend of mine who lives out there but is cruising at the time.

the "city" of Gulfport is a small town with few resources and one police boat. They're going to have to be convinced that there's a problem. If ever this was a time to galvanize the local boating community, this is it. We have women living by themselves out there.
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Old 31-07-2012, 06:08   #29
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Re: We are being terrorized

Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
Which is exactly how these threads go from helping the OP to being expressions of ego and aggression and finally closed down by the mods.
Preemptive moderation?

The authorities are unwilling to help so the Op has three choices:

1) put up with it
2) pull up anchor and move
3) be proactive and try to deter the troublemakers

If number three is chosen, be creative. Try being more of a pain in the ass than the troublemakers. Don't be a victim.
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Old 31-07-2012, 06:10   #30

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Re: We are being terrorized

Originally Posted by Hatch View Post
We need some serious advice and council.

We are live a-boards anchored out on our 42' long range trawler in Gulfport, Fl.

We stay here because the city provides parking and a dinghy dock.
Unfortunately what they don't provide is marine protection. (but they do have a patrol that comes out once a month, they claim limited funds)

Being a "live a-board" here in Gulfport, we are treated like third class citizens.

Our dinghies are register as well as our vessel.
We keep at clean appearance, we move our boat at least once or twice a month, the bottom is cleaned every month, and we use the marina for pump-out.

The problem is as follows:

Two months back , we were harassed by a boat full of teens that had been drinking.
The operator was at the controls of a new 20' Jetski boat.
They thought it would be fun to circle us at high speed within 35-45' of our boat, creating large enough wakes to upset our 17.5 ton vessel and break a few things inside.
We have two service animals that work with children, one was injured during this episode.

I brought our dogs to the dinghy dock 30 min. to use the "bathroom" after the disruption, only to find the boat that terrorized us was there, full of beers cans and empty beer boxes.

There were not enough life jackets on board, nor was there a Florida registration sticker on the boat. (I was told later but the police that it was a new boat and they didn't get the sticker in time to take it out for a spin)

However, the local police, told me that it was my word against the kids that I accused and even though one of the passengers seemed sorry for their actions, the police let them go knowing the boat was illegally on the water.
It even left the dock without nav. lights, and it was 11pm.

The other night, a man in his mid 30's, on a 23' center console fishing boat, was out with friends on a calm night, and drifted within 50' of us at 1am.
There were 3 people on board and the music was deafening.
To get their attention, I hit them with a spot light and asked to either move away or lower the volume.
They called us names, cursed, etc . .
But, he did start the motor and very slowly, moved away.

20 minutes later, he drifted back to us and was within 35' of us and the music louder.
Again, I hit them with the spot light, asked them to please move again, but there was resistance this time, with threats, so I kept the light on them till they moved.

I sat and watched, as they moved away.
I watched as the owner brought the boat to the public dock, unloaded his two passengers, turn the boat around, and came straight at us, full throttle, bow straight up.
He circle us several times at an aggressive speed, and as close as he could get.

Knowing not to call the Gulfport police, I called the USCG, but was told they couldn't help and to try the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
All the while, we are being dangerously circled.

The aggressive boat turned and left, but only to circle around other boats and then return to us again.

During the second "attack", I had the FWC on the phone pleading for help, only to be informed that resources are low and no one is available to help. However, they would call the Gulfport police on our behalf for help.

By this time, the threading boat left and disappeared into the darkness ( during this time, he had turned off all his nav. lights)

5 min. later, I heard the sounds of powerful motors coming towards us, in the distance.
Sure enough, it was him coming back for a third attack.
I call the FWC again pleading for any help. They said they would call the Gulfport police again.

After the third attack, I sat up waiting for another. During that time, I realized that 500' away where approx. 25 people fishing off the local pier.
Since I was told before that it was my word against the "aggressor", I would loose.

So I call FWC again, and asked (on my behalf) to have the Gulfport police meet me at the dinghy dock, so they could take my statement, and match it with witnesses from the pier.

I waiting over 75 minutes and the Gulfport police never arrived or called me - by that time, my witnesses had gone home.
I would have gone myself, but was afraid to leave my wife aboard, or worse yet, bring her with me in the dinghy and risk another attack, without police available.

Any advice on how to handle these kinds of problems legally.

We were told not to protect or defend ourselves by both the USCG and the FWC.
Again, our word against the aggressor.

Thank you for any suggestions,

I also sent this to Denis Frain, Harbormaster for Gulfport and to a friend of mine who lives out in that bay. He single-handedly made cruise ships stop dumping nonbiodegradable trash into the ocean before it was the law (yes). If one person can accomplish that, I'm sure nudging the police there can help get something done.

On the East end of the bay some of those boats are anchored in St. Petersburg waters, so contacting them as well as Gulfport would be a good idea. There is also Maximo Marina and another little boat yard on the island side of the Gulfport/Pasadena vicinity of Boca Ciega Bay.

I'm sending the email to the commodore of my yacht club and I suggest that anyone who belongs to any other sailing or yacht clubs do the same. I am unavailable but I can do this much.

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