Denby and Dodger, I think the following will explain some.
Originally Posted by theartfuldodger
I was just reading Zac's blog as I do every day and found it very surprising he said he was boarded by US Coast guard 20 miles off of Mexico, what is the US doing in other countries waters boarding vessels, is there some law or right they have that the rest of the world does not have.
One of the interesting parts of all of this is the penalies. The vessel itself can be held "liable in rem" for the offense in addtion to the owner, operator or master. It can as you can see get expensive.
CHAPTER 23 - OPERATION OF VESSELS GENERALLY
Sec. 2301. Application
Except as provided in section 2306 of this title, this chapter applies to a
vessel operated on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States
(including the territorial sea of the United States as described in
Presidential Proclamation No. 5928 of December 27, 1988) and, for a vessel owned in the United States, on the high seas.
[CGD 88-002A, 56 FR 8880, Mar. 1, 1991]
Sec. 26.15-1 May board at any time.
(a) To facilitate the boarding of vessels by the commissioned, warrant,
and petty officers of the U.S. Coast Guard in the exercise of their
authority, every uninspected vessel, as defined in 46 U.S.C.
2101(43), if underway and upon being hailed by a Coast Guard vessel,
must stop immediately and lay to, or must maneuver in such a way to
permit the Coast Guard boarding officer to come aboard. Failure to
permit a Coast Guard boarding officer to board a vessel or refusal to
comply will subject the operator or owner of the vessel to the penalties
provided in law.
(b) Coast Guard boarding vessels will be identified by the display of
the Coast Guard ensign as a symbol of authority and the Coast Guard
personnel will be dressed in Coast Guard uniform. The Coast Guard
boarding officer upon boarding a vessel will identify himself to the
master, owner, or operator and explain his mission.
Sec. 177.09 Penalties.
An operator of a vessel who does not follow the directions of a Coast
Guard Boarding Officer prescribed in Sec. 177.05 is, in addition to any
other penalty prescribed by law, subject to--
(a) The criminal penalties of 46 U.S.C. 4311, which provides that a
person willfully operating a recreational vessel in violation of 46
U.S.C., Chapter 43 or regulations issued thereunder, shall be fined not
more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
(b) (1) The civil penalties for violating 46 U.S.C. 4307(a)(1). (2) The
civil penalties of 46 U.S.C. 4311, which provides that a person
violating any other provision of 43 U.S.C., Chapter 43 or regulation
issued thereunder is liable to the United States Government for a civil
penalty, and, if the violation involves the operation of a vessel, the vessel is liable in rem for the penalty.
[CGD 96-052, 62 FR 16703, Apr. 8, 1997]
Hope this helps to explain,
NTSB Trained, Marine:Surveyor, Educator, ABYC Master Technician