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  #41  
Old 08-02-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

You think the purpose of government is to inspect your property for your safety? Should they be able to inspect your car any time they please? Your house?

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
I have no issues with USCG boardings. Generally they are only looking out for your safety (believe it or not) it is the locals that you have to worry about. They are the ones with a set number of tickets to write and the obvious incentive to find something wrong with you or your vessel.

Some places I do understand that the USCG is after more than safety.. but that is the chance you are taking coming back from the Bahamas or any other well known area that drug smugglers launch from
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  #42  
Old 08-02-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

Oneathesedays I've got to start taking notes. But I know that somewhere in the USC or CFR, there is (or at least, recently was) specific reference that in certain circumstances gives US documented vessels the right to tell the USCG "No, you may not board now."

Priority #1 is given to documented vessels that are inbound to a US port and carrying mail from a foreign port. (Which any documented vessel is authorized to do.) Anyone who wants to interrupt your trip, for any reason, can be told "Come back after we've tied up and delivered the mail to the USPS." and there's no discussion about it. If they delay the mail, it doesn't matter what agency they work for, they're subject to arrest and prosecution.

Priority #2 is at the discretion of the documented vessel's master. If the interception is going to endanger his vessel in some way, i.e. conditions are unsafe, or the delay could turn a daylight arrival into a night arrival, you can say "Too dangerous, come see me after I've tied up." It probably would help to cite the code section....I've only got a vague memory that it would be in the USC.

jzk-
If state highway patrols or city cops routinely made traffic stops with long arms out and at the ready, or even with sidearms drawn, there'd be an incredibly loud response. No matter how professional the USCG may be, and no matter how "entitled" the fed may or may not be, the whole business of heavily armed boarding parties is simply unjustified and beyond offensive.
Sure, there are bad guys on some boats. That doesn't entitle anyone to pretend every "safety inspection" should be a SWAT response. If it is too dangerous to perform administrative code inspections (which are what vessel safety checks are) without heavy arms, then they just shouldn't be done. Or maybe...building inspectors and grocery scale checks should be done in the same uniform way. They're all the same administrative code inspections, after all.

Which one sounds right to you? M16's to inspect the elevator and the grocery counter? Or leaving the guns in the armory locker?
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  #43  
Old 08-03-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

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Originally Posted by jzk View Post
You think the purpose of government is to inspect your property for your safety? Should they be able to inspect your car any time they please? Your house?
They do that to cars all the time around here. We have to get them safety inspected once a year and I have been through two "Safety inspection" roadblocks so far in 2014. All they do is wave you through if you have a current inspection tag on the windshield..

So yes, it happens here in NJ.. has for as long as I have been driving (27 years)

Homes are a different matter. Unless it is a rental, there are "castle doctrines" that keep the police and such outside unless they have a warrant to come in
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  #44  
Old 08-03-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

My solution to this problem was to buy a boat named "Semper Paratus" from a retired Coastie, with the name emblazoned in big letters on each side. Always gets a big wave as they go by.
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  #45  
Old 08-03-2014
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No they don't. Waving you through a road block and getting your emissions test is not the same as armed military boarding and searching your home at their pleasure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine:2063897
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzk View Post
You think the purpose of government is to inspect your property for your safety? Should they be able to inspect your car any time they please? Your house?
They do that to cars all the time around here. We have to get them safety inspected once a year and I have been through two "Safety inspection" roadblocks so far in 2014. All they do is wave you through if you have a current inspection tag on the windshield..

So yes, it happens here in NJ.. has for as long as I have been driving (27 years)

Homes are a different matter. Unless it is a rental, there are "castle doctrines" that keep the police and such outside unless they have a warrant to come in
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  #46  
Old 08-03-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

Honestly.. from some of the boats I have been aboard.. they should have a mandatory Safety Inspection once a year. I have been aboard at least one speedboat I immediately got off of and refused to go out on.

If they cannot do a mandatory inspection once a year.. then it is up to the USCG to do it randomly. I know you feel it is against our rights.. but I do not want to get sunk because some idiot is running a boat that should not even be afloat, let alone skimming across the water at me.

Also bothersome, in looking at some larger boats for sale.. I have seen more than a few sailboats with serious collision damage... like all but run over by a larger powerboat collision damage. While I will always fear the sea, I have known more people who have gotten killed or seriously hurt by other boaters than who drowned
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  #47  
Old 08-03-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

Find law has some interesting discussion regarding the difference between automobiles and vessels. Of note, Supreme Court rulings have only been based on checking documentation for customs purposes, which have nothing to do with police stops in inland lakes. As would apply in the OP's case, because he had a sticker, all paperwork would have been in order, so there would not be any reasonable expectation otherwise.

What else is interesting is that the setting up "road" blocks is stated to be impractical, however on the lake that I sail at, there is very limited access. There is only one marina with public entrance. Most likely any lake is that way.

The link is here:
Annotation 3 - Fourth Amendment - FindLaw
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  #48  
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

You saw a boat that you didn't think was safe, and you immediately got off????? You took your safety into your own hands! Good for you!!!!

The Federal Government was never designed to ensure your recreational watercraft safety.

Yes, it is against our right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
Honestly.. from some of the boats I have been aboard.. they should have a mandatory Safety Inspection once a year. I have been aboard at least one speedboat I immediately got off of and refused to go out on.

If they cannot do a mandatory inspection once a year.. then it is up to the USCG to do it randomly. I know you feel it is against our rights.. but I do not want to get sunk because some idiot is running a boat that should not even be afloat, let alone skimming across the water at me.

Also bothersome, in looking at some larger boats for sale.. I have seen more than a few sailboats with serious collision damage... like all but run over by a larger powerboat collision damage. While I will always fear the sea, I have known more people who have gotten killed or seriously hurt by other boaters than who drowned
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Old 08-03-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

One of the reasons I think we have so many "bad" guys doing their stuff at their will is because enforcement law people and justice are too busy behind the "good" ones. May not apply to US, but it happens in South America.
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Old 08-03-2014
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Re: VSC saved me from CG boarding

Excellent series of articles here: Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 1 | Sailfeed (it links to part 2,3,4).

Continues with some discussion of the contradiction between reasonable search and the Cost Guard's powers as granted by the Revenue Act of 1790.

Upshot: it ain't right, but it ain't changing tomorrow. The guys boarding you are well within the law, even if the law needs to be changed. The only comparable power (which the article allludes to) is the customs agents at the border, which has been a recent hot-button issue with searches of hard drive contents. Basically, the CG is always operating like a customs agent.

Interestingly, over a bunch of years in Toronto, I was never hassled or searched - local LEO on the water (never the CG) seemed only interested in stopping reckless powerboaters and jetskis. They were often tied up to the end of our dock on a Sunday.
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