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Old 30-08-2007, 16:24   #1
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Angry Drinking boater arrested for not boating...

My God... This just gives people reason to dislike us Americans even more...


Boater held for 3 weeks in U.S. jail for refusing to sail drunk

Cross-border trip ends in detention centre


Windsor Star; CanWest News Service

Published: Saturday, August 25
WINDSOR, Ont. - A Canadian boater who crossed Lake Erie has been in the custody of U.S. authorities for three weeks, despite having committed no criminal offence.
"This is ridiculous. You wouldn't believe what's going on here," said a frustrated Terry DaCosta of Woodstock, Ont., on the phone from Monroe County Jail on Friday evening.
"It's pathetic. I thought we were supposed to be neighbouring countries."

DaCosta, 39, said his troubles began on Aug. 3, when he took his boat on a recreational trip with other boats from Leamington to Put-in-Bay near Sandusky, Ohio.
Upon arrival on American shores, DaCosta contacted the U.S. Border Patrol to ask for their approval to stay -- something he said he's received on previous occasions without any problems.
While he was waiting, DaCosta consumed several beers. He was then dismayed to learn from border patrol that his request for entry was denied.
"I said, 'I can't leave, I've had a few beers,' " DaCosta recalled. "They said, 'If you can't drive your boat out of here, we're going to have to arrest you and deport you ourselves.' "
DaCosta, who was alone in the boat, said he didn't want to risk being stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard and potentially losing his boating licence over a failed breathalyser test. "I said, 'Fine, arrest me, I'm not drinking and driving.' "
But what DaCosta thought would be an inconvenient process has turned into a prolonged nightmare.
According to DaCosta, his first week in custody was spent in a cell with 15 other men and a poorly working toilet. He said he's now been placed in a large dormitory filled with between 80 and 100 other people.
"They treat us like we're a bunch of animals," DaCosta said.
His dorm is one reserved for immigration detainees, the jail confirmed.
"There's no criminal offence," said James Battin, DaCosta's lawyer in Canada. "It seems to me to be just a little bit strange. My understanding is his file went to Miami and he went to Monroe, Michigan."
Battin said DaCosta is being represented by a Michigan lawyer, and there's not a great deal that can be done for him from Canada.
DaCosta said he has no criminal record in either the U.S. or Canada.
An electrical and mechanical contractor by trade, DaCosta said he's worried about the status of his independent contracting firm as he languishes in custody.
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Old 30-08-2007, 17:34   #2
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Not to get political but who the hell is running this country. If Customs is going to be that horrible to someone who is obviously not an enemy combatant what happens to the enemy.
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Old 30-08-2007, 17:37   #3
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That's got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read that a gov't has ever done! Really makes me wonder about visiting there someday by water.
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Old 30-08-2007, 19:37   #4
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Don't kill the messenger but 9/11 changed everything and the US has gone completely paranoid/stupid. The US/Canadian border is a prime example.

Technically he entered the country illegally and the fact that he did it many times in the past is no excuse based on the changing times.

Many US citizens who used to cross the border with a dirver's license are stymied now that passports are mandatory. As a result the backlog for passports is out of control compunded by the stricter checks required to issue one.

Detaining this person in the conditions described, however is shocking.

US & Canadian citizens should have unhindered access across our common border. This is stupid.
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Old 30-08-2007, 20:45   #5
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Does that apply to Mexican Citizens too ?..

My other question is, WHY?,

Would someone travel across a national border, consume alcahol in such a quantity that they might be considered impaired in operating a boat or a land vehicle ??

Why would you do this, knowing that your going to ask permission from the local authorities to land and spend time in the their country, without positive knowledge that your going to be able to spend at least 24 hours without driving a boat or other vehicle ???

Don't get me wrong, the time involved here is ridiculous, but the act that started it was just as ridiculous.

just my 2cents
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Old 30-08-2007, 21:16   #6
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I'm curious, I forget what the exact wording is, but the from what I understand, the international law that allows any ship to anchor in any waters for some limited amount of time (36 or 48 hours if I remember correctly) if continuing at the moment would put the crew or ship in danger? what ever happened to that?

maybe I'm wrong about this, but I've read about this kind of thing from multiple sources.
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Old 30-08-2007, 22:04   #7
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More bizarre than fiction

U.S. frees boater, minus ID, cash
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Old 30-08-2007, 22:23   #8
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and they reckon our imigration is tough in Australia. Only in America....
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Old 30-08-2007, 23:21   #9
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I can't say "On behalf of the American people," or anything like that that has any meaning, but speaking only for myself, I apologize to this unfortunate man. What happened to him was inexcusable - but I can't say I'm surprised to read about it.

The United States of America we were told about from the time we were children no longer exists - it's quite likely it never did. But since the advent of the current administration and the events of 9/11, those who have long dreamed of imposing a police state here have seen their dreams come true. They can now do the most unbelievable things with virtual impunity, under the guise of "protecting the American people from terrorism."

What happened to the unfortunate Canadian was relatively minor compared to some of the things those in authority have done to many others. And with the courts most often finding nothing untoward in the actions of those who "protect and serve," who's to stop them?

If the Canadian thinks that he can come back soon, in spite of the ten year restriction, he will find that the violation of his agreement with ICE is the least of his problems. I can almost guarantee him that his name has been added to the "Terrorist Watch List," and should he ever venture back into the US, he will rue the day.

And perhaps this belongs in another thread, but I've long wondered what is the reason boaters in particular are so drawn to the consumption of alcohol? Years ago I dropped out of the whole yacht club/club cruise/Wednesday afternoon regatta thing, because all that ever happened was that at the end, everyone stood around and drank (mostly beer) and reprised the meaningless event. Everything seemed designed to culminate in the social gathering at the end, and the social gatherings, to me, were only excuses to drink, and it very quickly lost its charm.

I would also posit that a majority of boating accidents that involve casual or infrequent sailors/powerboaters have the consumption of alcohol as the unifying characteristic. And I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that alcohol is a factor, more often than not, in accidents involving professional mariners (see, for example, Joseph Hazelwood and Exxon Valdez).

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Old 05-09-2007, 22:18   #10
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grrr
here is another american who not only thinks what happened is not right but also on my own behalf apoligizes listening to this stupidity i think the terrorists won.


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Old 05-09-2007, 22:53   #11
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From what he says he did not enter illegally In most border ports on both sides, you arrive and then call the coast guard to report. It is unfortunate he started to imbibe before being cleared but past experience led him to believe there would not be a problem. Was the real reason for his dentention revealed - or was there one?
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Old 06-09-2007, 05:05   #12
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"I said,fine, arrest me,I'm not drinking and driving".

Am I to assume that if they granted you entry that you would have said,"Thanks,I'll be in in a short while." Or would you have said,"I'll wait a while" Because I've had a bit to drink.

Media reports are dodgey to start with.This one dose'nt sound like the full story neither.Maybe the drink clouded the truth a bit.My guess is that the alcahol wasen't there at all,it was an excuse gone wrong.Mudnut.
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Old 06-09-2007, 05:15   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Sailors View Post
Does that apply to Mexican Citizens too ?..

My other question is, WHY?,

Would someone travel across a national border, consume alcahol in such a quantity that they might be considered impaired in operating a boat or a land vehicle ??

Why would you do this, knowing that your going to ask permission from the local authorities to land and spend time in the their country, without positive knowledge that your going to be able to spend at least 24 hours without driving a boat or other vehicle ???


just my 2cents

I agree. I have never visited a country and been in less than 100% perfect mental shape when working though customs. It's a very serious matter dealing with customs - even if it is only your neighboring country.

The burecratic nightmare that ensnared him is certainly unforunate, but he wouldn't have been in this situation if he were responsible.

It's not acceptable to "pound beers" while awaiting customs in ANY country... USA, Canada, Europe, Iraq or even Australia - wait.... I think you can pound beers WITH customs when you enter Australia.
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Old 06-09-2007, 08:10   #14
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I am not for or against either party but I do find it hard to see almost all here jumping right on his side with only having heard "his story".

I know some of those places having been there and they are not as he describes.
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Old 06-09-2007, 20:04   #15
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For me the issue is one of change. Sure, the shared lakes probably were a laid back situation. Put-In bay is a lot of fun. Clearance rules were probably no different on paper but not enforced "strictly per the letter." In case no one noticed you are now "required' to have a passport to cross the border when in the good ol' days all you needed was a drivers license.

I doubt the the US Coast Guard has any authority to clear either a boat or any people into the United States. This would be the providence of US Customs and INS now known as USCIS (Iguess?).

Soenforcement level changed, the guy got caught out and decided to get mouthy. I don't care where you are in the world, you get mouthy with the guy (or gal) wearing epaullets on their shoulder and scrambled eggs on their hat and you will definitely lose the argument.
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