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Old 20-01-2015, 00:31   #1
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Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

Last week we heard a diver under our boat for over 30 minutes. It sounded like he was reaming out all the thru hulls. We could hear him running what sounded like files and screwdrivers in and out of the underwater thru hulls. We just assumed it was our regularly scheduled and very efficient hull cleaner.

Today I was approached by our marina management who told me the following very disturbing story:

The Port of San Diego has hired a team of “stealth divers” who are to inspect the thru hulls of all liveaboard boats in San Diego Bay without contacting or notifying the boat owners or the marinas. The diver last week was one of that team. He reported to the Marina management that our thru hulls showed signs of “fecal material.” The marina representative came down to our boat with the diver to see the thru hull in question.

The Marina representative is a friend and lives on his 45’ trawler just two slips down the dock from us. When shown the offending thru hull our friend pointed out to the “inspection diver” that the thru hull serviced our galley sink and it was unlikely there was any fecal matter in that thru hull.

I find the whole thing very offensive:

- stealth inspections with no notification
- what was the diver doing under out boat for 30-minutes?
- unknown diver reaping out thru hulls that may very well be closed
- reports to Marina management with no information given to us
- inspection divers who know nothing about the boats they inspect

I asked the Marina to send a Port of San Diego representative to our boat to inspect our holding tank. We cleaned it with hot soapy water several years ago and I am 100% certain it is still spotlessly clean inside. Our friend said that the Port will not respond in that manner but may choose to put a dye tablet in the holding tank to verify it does not discharge overboard.

We have several thru hulls we keep closed at all times. Did his reaping and poking efforts damage those valves?
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Old 20-01-2015, 02:42   #2
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

I'm from a far off land where such actions just don't happen so I can't really comment; however

It is offensive

One wouldn't let a stranger walk around one's house uninvited poking and prying at the windows boors or vents.

Guess there won't be a next time but have some nets ready to catch the bugga on the grounds he may be trying to sink you boat.
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Old 23-01-2015, 11:08   #3
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Update - It was not a Port of San Diego Diver!

Talked to Port of San Diego manager of diving services. He is adamant that no Port divers were engaged in any such activity. He said it would be illegal and unwise for them inspect a boat as I described.

My regular dive service says it was not their diver.

The marina claims they have never previously seen the diver who talked to them about our boat.

Truly a mystery!
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Old 23-01-2015, 11:25   #4
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

I don't understand the point of your holding tank being spotlessly clean.

Wouldn't that mean that you are pumping overboard instead of into your tank??

Or is it illegal to use an onboard head at all, in CA? I hope that's not the case.
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Old 23-01-2015, 11:29   #5
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

Physically reaming out your thru hulls sounds rather odd. Permission to enter ones property is a typically age old rule of law.

Seems an odd thing for officialdom to do. There are liability, sea worthiness and property rights to consider.

I can see a case for the EPA to monitor any discharge but crossing a boundary is a fundamental requirement here. Effluent discharge would meet that criteria.

Maybe it wasn't someone acting officially...

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Old 23-01-2015, 11:53   #6
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

I would have started the engines and driven away with the diver still underneath the boat. That would teach him not to mess with someone else's property.
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Old 23-01-2015, 11:57   #7
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

If you ask me, poking around someone elses boat sound like a good way to catch a beating (then again I am hot headed and protective of my stuff).

I would be suspicious enough now to dive, hire a diver, or pull the boat to check for damage or missing zincs. Definitely put the word out in your area to keep a look out and see if you can get to the bottom of this.

Good luck
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Old 23-01-2015, 11:58   #8
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

Would seem very weird for a "diver" to be delivering any results via marina management unless management had hired the diver.

And if the Port had hired a diver and there found a problem it is very doubtful that the diver would deliver the results at all unless they were a full representative of the Port.

Story has the makings of a scam, but I hope the story gets updating.
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Old 23-01-2015, 12:04   #9
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

I could see (see, not necessarily support, mind you) the local authorities trying to crack down on illegal discharge if there is solid data/evidence that it is actually having a detrimental impact on the environment. I suppose they would have no option other than visual inspection to police and enforce it, although it strikes me as pretty expensive and ultimately ineffective process. Basically just a scare tactic program as there is no way to conclusively prove that someone is pumping out other than witnessing it first hand. The funds would be better spent on an education campaign I bet.

I can't see some civilian "poo vigilante" doing this, then actually impersonating a government official (or contractor) in contacting the marina and even visiting your boat. That would be totally nuts. Are you sure you got the name of who he said he was working for right? Did you ask for identification or something demonstrating his authority? Maybe the diver, pretty certainly a private contractor, isn't totally clear on who hired his company. Who knows.
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Old 23-01-2015, 12:07   #10
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

I seem to recall that TacomaSailor has a composting head, which is why the holding tank would be clean.

Very very odd indeed. And if it's true in any way it's really annoyingly stupid. Like poo is the biggest problem on the planet right now.
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Old 23-01-2015, 12:21   #11
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Would seem very weird for a "diver" to be delivering any results via marina management unless management had hired the diver.

And if the Port had hired a diver and there found a problem it is very doubtful that the diver would deliver the results at all unless they were a full representative of the Port.

Story has the makings of a scam, but I hope the story gets updating.
Yeah... there seems to be a contradiction in the postings..? My first thought was they were inspecting because a boat in the marina nearly sank from stray current corrosion or something...
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Old 23-01-2015, 13:05   #12
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

I am guessing it is one of your local Environmental Groups, self appointed to solve the worlds problems.

such as

Environmental Health Coalition - Social Change for Justice
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Old 23-01-2015, 13:09   #13
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

or this group

San Diego Bay Council
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Old 23-01-2015, 13:14   #14
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

or this group

Accomplishments

REDUCED SEWAGE SPILLS

A San Diego Coastkeeper lawsuit pushed the City of San Diego to invest $1 billion in infrastructure upgrades, which reduced sewage spills by 90 percent. In 2011, our volunteers identified a 1.9-million gallon sewage spill in Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, and our action resulted in a $12-million infrastructure investment by the City of San Diego to prevent future spills.


Quote:
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or this group

San Diego Bay Council
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Old 23-01-2015, 13:31   #15
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Re: Port divers inspecting thru hulls?

we humans are real pest.

how beatiful places were before housing, faulty sewerage, pools, speedo mating couples with some kind of religious frick blessing, chemicals.


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