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Old 07-19-2013
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A nice change for boaters!

Hopefully the trend will continue!


After a short Lake Erie walleye fishing trip on the annual Governor’s Fish Ohio Day, Ohio Gov. John Kasich took time out for lunch last week and to sign the Boater Freedom Act. The legislation reins in local and state officers from boarding local pleasure and charter boats unless there is a reasonable suspicion that laws are being broken, according to Cleveland.com.

Sponsor Rep. Rex Damschroder, a Republican from Fremont, told the website that boaters in northwest Ohio have been complaining about constant safety inspections by local and state agencies, including the Ohio Division of Watercraft. Some boaters have been checked multiple times during the same day and cited one instance of a local boater being brought to shore while face down and in handcuffs, even though a breathalyzer test showed no evidence of alcohol use, Damschroder said. Lake Erie Marine Trades Association president Ken Alvey told the website the random stops had hurt tourism, fishing and boating in general.

The regulation will not stop U.S. Coast Guard or Homeland Security officials from arbitrarily stopping and boarding boats.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

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Originally Posted by AKscooter View Post
Hopefully the trend will continue!
The regulation will not stop U.S. Coast Guard or Homeland Security officials from arbitrarily stopping and boarding boats.
Yes, there is no way to stop the runaway Federal government from doing whatever it wants... we are turning into a police state...
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

Great, sensible legislation. A cop never would have the right to get in your car or enter your home absent a warrant, so why should they be allowed to board your boat?
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

I've been 'boarded' precisely one time in 12 years.

I was moving my dinghy to my new dock (3 miles) and had not put the new sticker on it for that year. I had it, just hadn't done the deed (it was March).

I got a warning, because he radio'd in and found I was recent on my registration.

I see the local LE all the time, I live on the river. I've never seen them pull someone over that I didn't think needed pulled over. Okay, in truth I've only seen two boats 'pulled over' - a overloaded (10 people) john boat and a idiot planning around in an anchorage.

It's just my opinion, but I work for LE. Most often that not those 'over zealous' cops in boats have been directed to work and area hard because of citizen complaints. Keep in mind the guys and gals doing it are your neighbor's and perhaps your friends. Cooperate, follow the laws and regulations. Johnny Depp looks cute in eyeliner and dreads, but pirates and freedom of the sea is only funny if it's in a comedy movie.

It's a lot easier to pull out safety gear, documentation etc. than it is to deal with being carted off to shore in a pounding police skiff while laying on your face and handcuffed.
Even if the LE officer is being a complete and utter a$$hole, he/she is going to win. It's not like you can out run them.

I hope this doesn't turn into another 'we live in a police state' or 'they have no right to board you' thread. Been done, wasn't pretty.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

I hope this thread doesn't go south like a similar one on another forum, but I think this is a fantastic piece of legislation.

However, something similar has virtually zero chance of passing here in NY given the BWI witch hunt that has been going on in recent years.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

Good for Ohio. All other states should follow suit. LE should not be allowed to board without warrant or probable cause.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
Great, sensible legislation. A cop never would have the right to get in your car or enter your home absent a warrant, so why should they be allowed to board your boat?
Gee, I guess you've never heard of the Patriot Act? No warrant nor probable cause needed any more, sadly.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

Well no state law can change what the Coast Guard can or will do. Heck even international law does not seem to stop them. But the local yokels are the ones around us that are out of control so I would love to see this in New York. At least some communication between departments so you don't get stopped multiple times. I must admit around here I have not heard of sailboats being bothered, it is normally the go fast boats with lots of young kids on board, so does not really affect sailboats. But sometimes it seems the different groups just line up to board boats at times.

On the water I have not seen much evidence of increased efforts by Coasties, but every town, county and village seems to have a boat on the water now since 911, and they like to use there toys. And they don't follow rules of the water, and fly around like there was just an attack from Mars. I think it is centered especially down in the Haverstraw Bay by Indian Point(a nuclear plant up river from NYC), and really there should be lots of security there, but they seem to over do it.

By the way I don't think that we are turning into a "Police State" but I do think there has been a huge change in the attitude of the LE. Even older law abiding citizens have mentioned it here and elsewhere. I believe it happened long before the Patriot Act, in my estimation it was the War on Drugs started by Nixon but really accelerated by Reagan, or even the Kent State incident where National Guard troops were used on students doing peaceful protests.

Last edited by miatapaul; 07-19-2013 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 07-19-2013
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Gee, I guess you've never heard of the Patriot Act? No warrant nor probable cause needed any more, sadly.
Whole other can of worms. The 4th Amendment is still alive and well for *most* traditional searches and seizures (aside from boating, of course).
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Re: A nice change for boaters!

A driving force for change is when people realize the negative financial impact it has on them, then it seems to get attention. Generally when an action only affects a small % of folks then those not affected are more or less complacent. MV vs SV vs jet skis vs kayakers etc. I for one, am glad to see any flexibility in the folks who work hard in LE and government to learn and understand the importance of the what and whys of their work.
That I personally have had both positive and negative interactions, does not reflect the majority of the LEOs attitudes or policies. What is nice, is that somebody, even if they are not a boater recognized the "need" for extra protection and did what they could do. Kudos to that Governor and crew!
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