Seems to me since 9/11 we've had a general militarization of our police forces and some officers have taken it as license to do whatever they want; probable cause can be figured out later.
In my wildest imagination I would never have thought of city and local police in the US dressing in black, covering their faces with balaclava, brandishing automatic assault weapons and forcing citizens into and out of motor vehicles, homes, businesses, public places - pretty much anywhere they want all in the name of "you can't be too careful".
You can, we are, and bad stuff still happens.
Somewhere along the line part of the uniform became a shaved head, wrap around sunglasses, leather gloves to avoid touching the public and an "us versus them" attitude that departments and older officers either didn't or couldn't stop.
I've known a lot of good cops over many decades, for most it was a badge of honor that they rarely or never pulled their service weapon.
Many jobs are statistically and in reality more dangerous - commercial fishing and mining come to mind.
Every year many officers are killed in the line of duty in automobile accidents - most of them single car accidents.
Too many of our LEOs take their lives with their own weapons or are killed accidentally with them.
I'm sure law enforcement is a stressful occupation and often without thanks. But with that as a standard we'd all be pulling Glocks on each other all the time.
Back to the particulars of this thread - not shocking, certainly worrying. Had the vessel captain been wearing an oven mitt to move that pan of bacon he might be dead if he turned too quick. Certainly it would have ruined his life and that of the officer on the other side of the weapon - one shot, two victims.
I think the general change is even worse - when police behave as an occupying force where only the folks in blue are really okay, we, them and our way of life are in serious danger.
Terrorism is all about creating fear using a small force to move a larger force. We've compromised the freedom of our own nation in the name of defending against terrorists. Just what they wanted. Score one for them.
As for the war on drugs - we've made it too profitable to ever stop. It will never stop.
The war on sewage is a whole different thing, maybe a franchise operation? Death to Dumpers!?
If history is a lesson watch for the next step - dump sewage accidentally, or your engine leaks, bilge pump works too well or charts, hat or Coca Cola get blown overboard and your vessel may be confiscated as "proceeds of a criminal operation". Then it is eligible to be sold to provide funds for more and faster boats to apprehend more.......and on and on and on.
On the other hand you can drive an oil tanker or massive yacht onto rocks or coral reefs or blow out oil all over the Gulf of Mexico and no guns will be pointed at anyone. If police show up at all it will be to protect you from the "media" or the send the "media" off the publicly owned beach at the direction of privately owned PR
folks. And ultimately the real dollar value of your fine will not amount to the failure to close a "sea ****" sanction.
This has nothing to do with sanitation, security or justice. It is about dollars.
As for being boarded in US waters, it is not your choice. If asked and you refuse that will be noted (particularly to any prosecutor involved) then ignored. In U.S. waters you can be boarded by any law enforcement officer at any time. Anything you say to that LEO can and will be used to prosecute you to the full extent of the law if you are arrested, or to bust your chops if you are not. "I only had two beers" is not a smart way to go.
"I closed all the sea cocks" might be good until they find one open. Are they sealed? Are you watching every move of the investigators? - of course not, you and the crew are being held, maybe at gunpoint, in the cockpit. Oh-oh, you just lied to an officer in an investigation. Martha Stewart and many others went to jail for that one.
The OP is fortunate that it worked out as well as it did, and that probably is the new normal - he was screwed but just think about how bad it could have been.