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  #11  
Old 06-03-2009
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It seems reasonable to me to check for contraband and intoxication, since they fall under the police's proper responsibility to protect other people from you. But fines for safety noncompliance, beyond being an obvious cash grab, are the epitome of an invasion in privacy. I'm a little bit surprised that so many Canadian boaters don't see anything wrong with these boardings.

The fact that the police are very polite isn't relevant; politeness is the least you ought to expect from people whose function is to use violence against you to get what they want.

If people don't actively protect their own privacy rights, those rights will be taken away, and they won't even notice. At first.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScuzzMonkey View Post
I guess everything is relative... I always find Canadian law enforcement a polite, refreshing breath of fresh air after (or before) dealing with US Customs and Border Protection. It's like a whole other world up there.
To be honest my experience has been, uniformly, the other way around. US customs seems to have a bad rep as far as I can tell. That said, on my last marine crossing into the US, when I checked in, the border guards -- very politely -- refused to send somebody to the dock for an inspection, and then, the next morning, sent two very polite guards to issue me a warning for not checking in right away. So yeah, my confidence in them is not particularly steely either.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2009
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Unfortunately, your observations are all too correct!!!

I once told a TSA airport guy he couldn't find dog dung if he stepped in it!Somehow, I got away with it.

...a lot of puffery from a few people who are pretty incompetent. Give some folks a gun and/or a badge and they go nuts!!!
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
It seems reasonable to me to check for contraband and intoxication, since they fall under the police's proper responsibility to protect other people from you. But fines for safety noncompliance, beyond being an obvious cash grab, are the epitome of an invasion in privacy. I'm a little bit surprised that so many Canadian boaters don't see anything wrong with these boardings.
Adam

The RCMP do have this responsibility.

From the Safe Boating Guide:

Quote:
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP), provincial and municipal
police forces and other authorized local
authorities enforce the laws that apply
to boats. They may inspect your boat
and monitor your boating activities to
make sure that requirements are being
met. This may include checking for
safety equipment, your Pleasure Craft
Operator Card and careless operation
on the water.
Two guys just drowned this weekend in AB. No pfds.

I have been sailing on the BC coast for 25 years. I have never been boarded.

Jack
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2009
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Because I have a bit of a hooligan look on me, I've been pulled over on the water three times, always in my Zodiac, never on the sailboat. I'm so in compliance that they start rolling their eyes when I produce the heaving line and the signalling mirror, never mind the hand flares.

I've found Canadian cops on the water pretty polite and non-intrusive. I've found U.S. customs officials less so. Frankly, a lot of them seem like armed mall cops and about as bright. By contrast, I've found New York City beat cops helpful and polite, as well as some cops in Florida, where they don't have the best reputation.

To be fair, however, I prefer dealing with American customer service people on the phone for the many things I seem to buy in the nautical line. They generally seem more engaged and better trained than Canadian places, where you can get dopey, if not actually rude, service on the phone. In a time where the customer can use the Internet to quickly source deals, this is short-sighted.
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2009
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Thumbs up Way to go

Count me in Johnvye's camp. If you are under way, then they have the right to request to board and inspect. However, if you are at anchor, and they ask to go on a fishing expedition, then you have every right to refuse.

"Pardon me, but are you willing to waive your protection from unreasonable search and seisure, so that I can look around, and possibly fine you or impound your vessel. It won't take long, and if we find something, we could really use the money. Think of this as a service."

I applaud johnvye for knowing and standing up for your rights!
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2009
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Rights of Border Officers?

Once when returning to the US from Canada (my boat is a Canadian registered boat moored in the US - Point Roberts, where 95% of the marina is filled with Canadian boats), after we cleared Customs via the phone using Nexus, we were waved into the Custom's dock by an irrate official as we were passing by. We did exactly as we were instructed by the Officer on the phone, which was to write the last 5 digits of the clearance number on a large piece of paper, and displayed this on the way by the dock.
The official on the dock (after we docked), then told us they were boarding our boat, and we were not allowed on board during this "inspection". I did not feel comfortable with this (not being allowed on my own boat to watch his inspection). Does anyone know my legal rights under these conditions? I know they have the right to board and conduct an inspection, but do I have the right to witness this inspection (or not)?
As it turned out everything was fine, and I was told by a different officer that I had done everything right, so not to worry.
Thanks,
Tom
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnvye View Post
I feel this is waayyyyy too much policing. For whatever reason, we have to do what is being done south of the border but I certainly didn't expect Canada to turn into this type of police state. I believe the RCMP could be doing something far more useful than safety inspections at sea. As an ex cop, I hate to see aggressive, in your face tactics that are becoming the norm nowadays. I stopped going to the U.S. by sailboat years ago due to the relentless boardings. Now, the plague has come to Canada. Too bad.. George Orwell was right all along... Just a thought..
For the longest time when returning to Canada from Point Roberts I never had to produce any documents (passport/Nexus) to return home they simply asked a few questions and I was on my way. Then they started asking for a passport so after a few times I asked why, since it was not a historical practice. The officer explained that he'd be remiss not to admit that American policy was the influence, apparently Canadian customs has been heavily influenced by American policies and are expected to appease the American Gov't through compliance of their expectations.
As for the puffery displayed by American customs officers, it goes with the job, they are all like that and your best defence is to simply mollify them best you can or suffer the consequences. Yes they can get heavy handed and any belligerance will ony antagonize them further so just play along and make them feel good or they will threaten to confiscate your Nexus card. I get it from them all the time.

Last edited by CaptKermie; 06-03-2009 at 05:02 PM. Reason: SP.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2009
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Quote:
The fact that the police are very polite isn't relevant; politeness is the least you ought to expect from people whose function is to use violence against you to get what they want.
It's probably more accurate to say "willing to use violence to overcome resistance to a lawful process." It generally takes two to fight.

Quote:
As for the puffery displayed by American customs officers, it goes with the job, they are all like that
really?
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2009
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It takes two to fight, but I would not blame anyone for resisting legal process. Nothing illegal about displaying resistance... most of the time.

Moreso, it is their function to use violence to get what they want. I for one, do not respect it. For instance, the Seattle police recently beat a 14 year old girl, and sent an innocent man into a permanent coma in 2 seperate incidents.

This is what makes the news!

Yes, one can reasonably say that they are all like that. I hate customs officers, they are stupid and self assured ass hats.
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