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Old 02-11-2021, 23:43   #1
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Australian Coastguard Questions

Hi!
I'm just wondering what information we are obliged to surrender to Australian coast guard as AUSTRALIAN vessel and AUSTRALIAN citizens cruising in our own state?

I know land based police can ask your name and address, which you are obliged to give them, but they have to have reasonable suspicion or suspect you of a crime to ask any further questions.

So for Australian citizens on their boat, cruising with in their home state, approached by Australian coast guard - which information do we HAVE to provide, and at what point can we tell them to back off? The reason I ask is they are getting quite nosy here. Asking for date of births, addresses, names, last port of call, next port of call, other boats we've been in contact with, occupation etc etc.
Seems like a big over reach of their jurisdiction considering they have no reason to suspect us Australian state registered vessel (with AIS) if any crime.

I know, like most cops, they're just trying to "keep us safe and keep the bad guys out", but that isn't excuse enough for an hour long interrogation and boarding.

Queensland police have this information on their website about what information we're obliged to give, but border force marine does not.

Does anyone have any hard literature of their jurisdiction towards Australians in Australia?
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Old 02-11-2021, 23:51   #2
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

We don't really have a coast guard although some of the volunteer marine rescue might refer to themselves that way. However we do have Coastwatch but I've never heard them ask for anything more than vessel registration identity, last port and next port even at the height of the illegal boat people things..

There's a lot of craziness about at the moment with the covid nonsense so maybe it's something to do with that.
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Old 02-11-2021, 23:54   #3
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

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Originally Posted by Scrimma View Post
Hi!
I'm just wondering what information we are obliged to surrender to Australian coast guard as AUSTRALIAN vessel and AUSTRALIAN citizens cruising in our own state?

I know land based police can ask your name and address, which you are obliged to give them, but they have to have reasonable suspicion or suspect you of a crime to ask any further questions.

So for Australian citizens on their boat, cruising with in their home state, approached by Australian coast guard - which information do we HAVE to provide, and at what point can we tell them to back off? The reason I ask is they are getting quite nosy here. Asking for date of births, addresses, names, last port of call, next port of call, other boats we've been in contact with, occupation etc etc.
Seems like a big over reach of their jurisdiction considering they have no reason to suspect us Australian state registered vessel (with AIS) if any crime.

I know, like most cops, they're just trying to "keep us safe and keep the bad guys out", but that isn't excuse enough for an hour long interrogation and boarding.

Queensland police have this information on their website about what information we're obliged to give, but border force marine does not.

Does anyone have any hard literature of their jurisdiction towards Australians in Australia?
We don't have a coast guard, we have marine rescue, a voluntary organisation, we have maritime services, who may request licence and check for required safety equipment as well as issue fines for breach of the appropriate rules and regs and we have water police who also do much the same.
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Old 02-11-2021, 23:56   #4
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

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We don't really have a coast guard although some of the volunteer marine rescue might refer to themselves that way. However we do have Coastwatch but I've never heard them ask for anything more than vessel registration identity, last port and next port even at the height of the illegal boat people things..

There's a lot of craziness about at the moment with the covid nonsense so maybe it's something to do with that.
Are you in Australia? The worst I've had it has been off of cairns. Typically no issue. I've had the odd call up from VMR asking a few odd questions which is frankly none of their business either. 😎

I guess I'm just looking for any of their legislation/rules/guidelines/procedures if anyone has access to it or a link etc. They obviously would have this, as they'd have a licence to do whatever they wanted otherwise. I'm all for them working with in their jurisdiction and authority, but not out of it. 👌😉 the next time we're hassled it would be great to k ow our rights as citizen's in regards to border force/coast guard etc.
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Old 02-11-2021, 23:58   #5
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

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Are you in Australia? The worst I've had it has been off of cairns. Typically no issue. I've had the odd call up from VMR asking a few odd questions which is frankly none of their business either. 😎

I guess I'm just looking for any of their legislation/rules/guidelines/procedures if anyone has access to it or a link etc. They obviously would have this, as they'd have a licence to do whatever they wanted otherwise. I'm all for them working with in their jurisdiction and authority, but not out of it. 👌😉 the next time we're hassled it would be great to k ow our rights as citizen's in regards to border force/coast guard etc.
Same thing when they fly over in the jet and radio down and ask a plethora of questions that the whole world (with in vhf distance) has the ability to eavesdrop on too. Wondering at what point can we decline to answer with private information.
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Old 03-11-2021, 00:00   #6
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

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We don't have a coast guard, we have marine rescue, a voluntary organisation, we have maritime services, who may request licence and check for required safety equipment as well as issue fines for breach of the appropriate rules and regs and we have water police who also do much the same.
Are you in Australia too? Yeah, I'm all on board with that kind of thing. Just wondering at what point do the questions go outside their jurisdiction. Obviously have nothing to hide, but that's not the point of you know what I mean. 😊
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Old 03-11-2021, 00:12   #7
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

You need to be careful with names here as the different organisations have very different powers.

Australia has both Volunteer Coastguard and Volunteer Marine Rescue organisations. They do not have any powers to require you to answer questions.
They do provide a great service and are generally helpful so you might as well keep on their good side.
I doubt they’ll be asking questions that you aren’t happy to answer. Plus, if you don’t want to answer then don’t.
They may ask you to register a passage plan if they see you going past, but this is entirely optional.

Now to the official organisations: nationally there are Federal Police and Border Force. Also organisations such as Customs, Immigration, etc
At state level, police plus other organisations such as Fisheries and Wildlife, EPA, Marine Services (names may differ in various states).
All of these have various powers to detain, question, search, impound etc.
All governed by their respective Acts and Regulations.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-11-2021, 00:35   #8
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

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You need to be careful with names here as the different organisations have very different powers.

Australia has both Volunteer Coastguard and Volunteer Marine Rescue organisations. They do not have any powers to require you to answer questions.
They do provide a great service and are generally helpful so you might as well keep on their good side.
I doubt they’ll be asking questions that you aren’t happy to answer. Plus, if you don’t want to answer then don’t.
They may ask you to register a passage plan if they see you going past, but this is entirely optional.

Now to the official organisations: nationally there are Federal Police and Border Force. Also organisations such as Customs, Immigration, etc
At state level, police plus other organisations such as Fisheries and Wildlife, EPA, Marine Services (names may differ in various states).
All of these have various powers to detain, question, search, impound etc.
All governed by their respective Acts and Regulations.

Hope that helps!
Thanks for that info. I'm specifically looking for info/regulations for border force and water police in Queensland (as that's where we mostly cruise).
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Old 03-11-2021, 00:50   #9
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

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Thanks for that info. I'm specifically looking for info/regulations for border force and water police in Queensland (as that's where we mostly cruise).
FWIW and AFAIK, the QLD water police is simply part of the QLD police and thus their powers are identical.

I dunno about border farce, their powers will be some iteration of the federal police and the old customs and immigration and then some.
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Old 03-11-2021, 13:36   #10
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

Scrimma, if you have been selected to be harrassed, talk to a solicitor about it. Once your vessel name becomes "suspicious" to them, Border Force, et al., will keep close track of you. This is typical of police type forces all over the world. The volunteer coastal patrols and volunteer marine rescue services, not so much.

We treat all these organizations with great respect: they have a hard job to do, and they're doing their best. In Qld., you may be asked to show proof of having two covid vaccinations, or proof of not being an active Covid case. At the present time (unless the requirement gets thrown out by your courts), you ARE required to do it; and if you don't, penalties apply. Of course, if you want to challenge it in Court, the hassle is yours.

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Old 03-11-2021, 14:43   #11
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Re: Australian Coastguard Questions

Anyone with Aircraft is not VMR/Coastguard, as explained they are a volunteer mob.
Border Force watch it. I have seen them work and at times they have carried ADF personnel, can force board you, and have carried 50 caliber Machine gun. All within the 300 mile limit.


Police are present as well.


Still I have had VMR ask police/immigration type questions, but if you don't contact them, they won't contact you, unless you have reported your journey and have exceeded your expected arrival time.


VTS (Like Harbour Master) need to talk with you at times, some Marine incidents like touching another vessel, buoy or Coral is a infringement not to report it.
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