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  #41  
Old 11-07-2010
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While i can just type with spell check and still have bad grammar i did not pass that to my son the Assistant District Attorney

We are having a debate about the CG vs Police boarding at will and the legality of it as the Police sure cant do this on land

I wish it was still racing season because there is and Admiralty Lawyer in the fleet
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  #42  
Old 11-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
You pull you gun, in my opinion, you better have a damn good reason for it... and IMHO, a lot more than hearing a door or drawer closing down below. We are talking about a leaking head for Gawd's sakes!!!! So what!!??? Can you imagine your kids seeing that - a gun pointed at their dad or mom? What would that do to a kid's perception of law enforcement??

Sorry - but that is way over the top. And boarding a boat because you think they might have flushed overboard?? Gustapo.

And before anyone here goes off on this being an isolated incident and blown out of proportions, let me tell YOU a story. Everyone knows me here. I am very transparent.

In Aprilish of this last year, we had a approximately 70 year old man and wife show up at our marina to stay for a while. We are talking a very senior coule. Well, the approach to our docks is tricky beacuse you have to go against your nature and stay very close to the shore on the canal. THis is in Fort Myers Beach past the Mound House - FYI. Anyways, I told him I would take him out the next morning and we headed out around 9ish in the morning in his Avon tender (rubber inflateable boat). I showed him and his wife where to go and how to travel so they could get out at low(er) tide.

On our way back, I was driving, we got pulled over by the Sherrifs department. I couldn't believe it and askede them why. It was a safety check, or some such nonsense. They wanted whistles - had it. DL - had it. Registration - had it. This guy had everything (it was his tender). He even had the up to date sticker on his boat. These people even asked us to blow our whistle to make sure it would work (the orange whistles). THey looked perturbed. SO then they found out that the sticker he had on his boat, though it saiys through X-month, expired a few days before because of hsi birthday or something. SO they wrote him a warning (and not a citation). Then they let us go.

The point of all of this is that it has gotten WAYYYYYYY too agressive. Go put your time somwhere into protecting the people and not pulling over a 70 year old man and friend in a 10 foot rubber boat with everything apparently in order on the off chance you might just find something. Sorry - but I see this as soviet union type of stuff. Yeah, you might have the right to pull us over, but is it the right thing to do??

Anyways, Florida has gotten very ugly and strict, from the story above, to my story, to the anchoring laws (anyone want to mention Marco Island debacle??), etc. And to think this state wants to cater to tourists. I will tell you that my 70 yo friend said, "This is the reason kids grow up hating police and not trusting them. That is flat-out harrasment." I agree with him.

Brian
I'm no big fan of LEO as I have personal experience of their overzealous activities, but I do have to say that if the circumstances were remotely like the situation described in the LEO response (ie the cop told someone to stay still and they ran below decks) that would be all I needed to draw my firearm.)

Yes, what it turned out to be was a toilet valve that may or may not have been in the proper position when the boat was boarded. However, it could have been a boat load of drugs or a floating meth lab full of tweakers. The cop had no idea. All he saw was someone not doing what he asked, in a place where weapons could reasonably be expected.

When I used to shoot in defensive pistol matches, I was pretty fast and pretty accurate. I once got to do a drill where a person stood 21' away from me and I tried to draw an fire one shot before the covered the distance to me. It was nearly impossible and highly illustrative of how fast things happen in dangerous situations. I can't blame the officer for reacting as alleged if the boater acted as alleged.
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  #43  
Old 11-07-2010
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The first mistake was not making their presence a KNOWN FACT, and then not requestiong everyone on deck. Second was not asking if there are weapons aboard. Once the situation is stable is the time to board, and do inspections.

They are using us for training, and eventually someone is going to be shot. Here is what I posted on CF. GCSs is just a few miles north, and east of New Smyrna on the St. Johns River.....

Yes, but the valved needs to be secured, and that is most likely why there was a citation. Everything else is inexcusable, and this crew should be reprimanded without pay for some length of time.

This is pale compared to what happened to another member here in Green Cove Springs Fl. Someone called the authorities that marijuana was on the boat. Itwas tied to the slip, and what descended upon them was the ridiculous

I witnessed one large helicopter hovering for more than an hour after the person was arrested. Turns out there was no pot on the boat, but in his car. There were no less a dozen officers with a dog also on the dock, or on the boat. There must have been a half dozen police cars, and it was obvious the left hand, and right hand recognized they were together. To top this off there was a 30-35ft. scarab type boat with several huge engines mounted tied across his stern. Just where did they think this guy was going in a 33ft cruiser?

No matter what kind of job it is. You will always find a butthead, or 2 doing it. What's crazy is they had to drop the charges the very next morning. How much was spent to accomplish nothing?.........i2f __________________
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  #44  
Old 11-07-2010
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I live in a country where(perhaps sadly)we do not have rules regarding sewerage discharge and most yachts therefore do not have holding tanks.
However on our canal system and in harbours and marinas these rules do apply and as well as providing sewerage discharge stations they also provide full toilet facilities for those visiting yachts.
Rule is you do not discharge over the side in these areas.
Were I or any other boat from UK visiting US waters doubt I would have specially installed holding tanks.All that could be expected were that valves were all closed.
Surely anyway the worst offenders are big ships;town sewerage systems and factory complexes! The odd bit of s--- from a yacht is hardly going to do any serious harm.
As for having a gun waved at you that tends to be a problem where gun carrying is the order of the day.
Here in the UK of course that is ever more on the increase. A Swat officer has recently been suspended because when providing a written statement regarding his shooting an armed (if mentally unwell) individual he repeatedly used catch phrases out of various action movies .
When you see our armed Police at Airports their style is scary-shaved heads;low slung automatic sub machine gun;body armour plus the swagger!
Sometimes think this is worse than in US where all officers are armed.
My wife on a Christmas Shopping Trip some years ago found the NY Police were some of the most friendly and helpful Police she had ever met.
I have only once experienced a gun in my face-a Colt Automatic!-a Spanish Border Police Officer whilst crossing into Spain from France on a minor crossing.
A very hot dusty day hitting 100 degrees-he could not speak English,I could not speak Spanish-gave him all my Documents and he kept waving the gun in my face. Finally a colleague cooled him down and I went on my way.Many weeks later I realised that what he wanted was sight of my "Bail Bond" which in those days was a legal requirment in Spain-a third party liability guarantee.I did not have one!
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  #45  
Old 11-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyruffn View Post
This jailhouse lawyer just looked up the Flordia code and here's what it says:

1. Consent of the owner/operator
2. Probably cause or knowledge of a violation has occurred or is occurring
3. Inspection permanently installed equipment, but only after permission to board has be requested and refused.
It seems like by all interpretations of the laws you have found the LEO overstepped their bounds when they hopped onboard without consent. In the Sheriff's response though he claims it is allowed.

This is just speculation on my part but post 911 things have changed, certain constitutional rights have been circumvented in the name of national security (think warrantless wire tapping). Most all lines of first defense (customs, TSA, CG, etc) fall under the Homeland Security Administration. Based on the sheriffs claim "it should be clearly understood that no provocation is required, or even permission needed, for law enforcement to board a craft for the purposes of conducting a lawful inspection" I am assuming there is a loophole for boarding a boat entering from offshore in the name of national security. After all this statement was made to tell their side of the story and cover their A$$. If they do not have the right to board at will then this statement puts them doubly at risk of consistently overstepping their powers.

So something along the lines of boarding to check if the vessel contains anyone on the "no fly list" or to see if there are any dirty bombs, and while we are here lets just check your MSD valves.

Irrelevant of the right to board without consent, it sounds like a stupid, dangerous way to go about enforcement. If police can have sobriety check points on land they should be able to extend that right to check the MSD on entry into ports. This threat alone should cause people to comply with proper sanitation with an actual possibility of enforcement.

For the record ffiill: If I got to carry a low slung machine gun to work, I would swagger.
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  #46  
Old 11-07-2010
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It's hard to reach a conclusion without having been at the scene.
I have been around when police who were extremely enthusiastic about enforcement touched off escalating conditions.
I have also witnessed scenes where someone who 'Knows his rights' gets excited.

My view is that a LOT of stress in enforcement is that people simply don't see police in day to day conditions any more, the only time police interact with the public is in enforcement situations so they are viewed as opponents.

When I was a kid it was very common to see police officers walking around the neighborhood, talking to the kids, discussing whatever with the old guy raking leaves or someone mowing the lawn. It was good, it gave the police a face and personality that caused people to view them as 'good'. People are more willing to work with the police when they had a face, and many officers were regarded as friends.

Today,the police hide behind radar guns and cameras with no interaction in non-enforcement conditions, so if you see an officer you can be certain he's not there to drink coffee and talk about the weather, which puts people on the defensive from the start. If you are perceived by the majority as opponents, you will not get 'Oh hi, How are you" when you knock on the door.
It doesn't matter how polite you are, if the only time you're seen is when interrupt someones afternoon you are NOT the friendly neighborhood policeman.
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  #47  
Old 11-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
I'm no big fan of LEO as I have personal experience of their overzealous activities, ,,,,, I can't blame the officer for reacting as alleged if the boater acted as alleged.
Well, the boater acting as alleged could not have occured if the officer hadn't before that first acted as alleged..so there should be no confusion that 100% of the responsibility for anything subsequent that might have happened, belongs to the officers who first acting as alleged alone sets the stage for whatever might happen after.
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  #48  
Old 11-07-2010
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The problem here is that those officers are not well trained in friendly boarding of vessels. Note the key word here is friendly.
Note: Poor training equals bad reactions and possible major injuries.
Have had USCG board my vessels out at sea, no problem because we both know what to expect from the other.
Had local LEOs board once. But I was having a heart episode and they confirmed my problem and expediated the ambulance to my vessel... It was too stormy for Life Flight that day.
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  #49  
Old 11-08-2010
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I want to emphasize, again, that if I had not been on the receiving end of their heavy-handedness more than once, I would have dismissed this episode as a bad day for both sides. But the reality is that it is more the norm down here than the exception. It is not, and should not be, a 'us versus them' mentality. THe police officers are there for us as citizens and this over- zealous, opprtunistic, gun brazing, quota-meeters do nothing to protect us but instead act to make it, "... a reason kids grow up not trusting and hating police officers," as the sevety-year old man said to me after being pulled over with him in his rubber 10 foot Avon 20 yards from shore at 9am for a safety check (where he was wearing his life jacket in plain sight anyways).

Look at the many respondents here. This is not an isolated episode. This is not about this captain. This is about a pattern that has taken hold in Florida - and that's too bad because it is a beautiful place to live and cruise.

And shall we also throw into the discussion what scienctific research has been done that a cruising vessel that pumps overboard is such a major EPA disaster that requires such extraordinary enforcement? or are we just low hanging fruit?

Brian
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  #50  
Old 11-08-2010
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In this situation, "probably cause" would be a trail of "floaters".
They still have to announce and the LEO should have called everyone on deck rather than going below.
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