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BigRed56 01-15-2002 07:16 PM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
Ahoy , sailors and countrymen, any lawyers out there or experts on maritime law that can lend a hand to me legal use of warning shots fired in anger from by bow deck when those stinking motor boats cut you off or rock the hell out of you for no good reason? How about the environmental effects of lead grape and chain on the unsuspecting wildlife? Think the EPA would give me a keel hauling or what? Any other advise on beligerence at sea? Speak up you swabs!

DuaneIsing 01-16-2002 02:28 AM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
I''m no maritime legal expert, BR56, but I believe the idea is to aim the shot below deck height and miss the stem of the offending boat by about 6 feet - AFT!

As far as EPA, keep in mind that often boats are deliberately sunk to provide artificial reefs for the marine life to flourish. You would just be doing your eco-friendly part. ;)

Denr 01-16-2002 04:20 AM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
There is a schooner captain that regularly plies the waters off the Maine coast providing charters to private parties. According to the article I recently read, he was peacefully anchored in a cove serving his guests dinner and drinks when an idiot on a "Jerk Ski" began to buzz around the anchored boat for more than a half hour. According to the frightened guests, they thought the guy was deranged. Acting responsively, the Charter Captain fired a warning shot into the air with a gun similar to a starting pistol (no ammo) to scare away the offender on the Jerk Ski. The Jerk Ski operator reported the Charter Captain to the Coast Guard, the captains license is currently under review for suspension.

The moral of the story is: use a real fire arm and make the offender’s vessel a fish habitat and send the idiot to Davie Jones locker!

Joe206 01-16-2002 06:41 AM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
Well I''m not an expert on maritime law, but I do know a bit about land criminal law. On the land if you fire a gun at or towards someone you''d better have a darn good reason or you''re gonna be the one the local authorities are going to be spending most of their time looking at. Using a lethal weapon to warn someone about annoying behavior generally is frowned upon by Law Enforcement.

As for the annoying motor boatists you might look to see what law enforcement agency covers the area of water you are mainly in. In my area the local sheriff''s office has a boat patrol that deals with the local river and lake boaters (no sea in this area). I know there are strict rules of boating in this area and they enforce them. If you can get a bow number or other identifying marks of the offending boat and then call the police they can hopefully get a boat over or have a patrol officer contact them at the dock. I know this doesn''t have the immediate gratification of a "water rage" response but you may be able to get the annoying boatist kicked off the local water (it''s happened here) and that will make things more peaceful for you in the long run.

Hope that helps even a little,


VIEXILE 01-16-2002 09:07 AM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
The "gun" the schooner captain fired in a direction AWAY from the ******* on the jet ski was actually a replica flintlock type pistol. This occurred in Pulpit Harbor, Vinalhaven. I believe a legal, open season on jet skis should be allowed, utilizing, say, #7 steel shot for environmental concerns. We don''t want to kill them, just spank ''em some. The #7 would make it most sporting, particularly if I could use my 10 Gauge Winchester 6-shot lever with 32" barrel. Talk about reaching out and touching someone.....

aasault 01-16-2002 10:01 AM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
My jet ski deterrent method was totally legal. I had a 340 HP Jet boat on the Colorado River for a few years. The Berkeley Jet Drive had a diverter, which trims the boat, and makes a huge 200'' rooster tail when trimmed all the way up. When jet skiers would come up behind me too close, I "accidentaly" trimmed the drive all the way up, which delivered a 340 HP fire hose blast that would peel the skin off you forehead!

JetSedai 01-16-2002 12:40 PM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
New member here; however, I could not let this one pass by without comment. Loving boating and firearms and believeing you ought not pull a weapon unless you intend to use it (irregardless your locale at the time), and allowing that two shots should be to warn - the other to cease the aberrant behavior if the first shot doesn''t do the trick, I am in full agreement with Denr. Which shot comes when is entirely up to the person firing <g>

EtherCat 01-16-2002 02:47 PM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
Well said, JetSedai, and welcome :)

What we really need for this situation is a portable directional EMP generator to fry the offender''s electronics "I dont know what happened to him officer, one minute he was blazing along and then he just stopped dead with smoke coming out of the engine"

Failing that, how about a huge water-balloon slingshot, or even better, a high-pressure water hose like the fire boats use?

Then again, a really loud and nicely timed (say, in the middle of a sharp high speed turn) warning shot might just scare someone into a very entertaining display of water acrobatics

RobHoman 01-20-2002 03:41 PM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Big Red, but in FL to display a "weapon" be it a firearm or knife....most anything that can be construed as a weapon.....and all the party you "showed" it to has to tell the law is that they felt threatened....and you are subject to arrest for "Assault" and probably even more charges. Firing the firearm is a steeper charge. I suggest that the more intelligent approach would be to flip the offender a sign of your disdain, pick up a fishing rod with about a 12" long shiny lure with really, really big treble hooks on it and flip it across his path.......... Now if he gets closer than 100'' or is it 100 yards, he''s violating a Florida Statute regarding passing too close to a boat from which fishing is taking place. And if he or she is really stupid......well let your imagination do the rest.

Its worked in the past for me.......

RobGallagher 01-20-2002 06:28 PM

Firing warning shots legal or not?
Big Red,

I think lead is not good for the fishies. Steel chain is best for ripping through a hull or beheading a jet skier.

Does anyone have information on mounting a Cannon to the bow of a C&C?

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