Coasties Gone Wild? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 40 Old 11-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Coasties Gone Wild?

Recently a sailor submitted a letter to a Bay Area sailing magazine, alleging he (in a racing sailboat, flying a kite) had been charged at high speed by a Coast Guard gun boat, with it's bow gun pointed directly at him. Apparently, the CG was defending a cargo ship that was in the middle of the bay, which the sailor estimates was two miles off his bow. He thought this was overly aggressive, given the circumstances. Several readers responded, agreeing and telling similar (though less dramatic) stories of their own. One person, claiming to be ex CG also responded. First, he corrected us on the size of the gun. We thought it was a 50 caliber. He assured us it was only a 30, stating a 50 would have gone clean through the offending boat and one or two other boats that happened to be in the area. He basically went on to say, if they point a gun at you, do what they say (as if any of us had to be told this!). Though unofficial, this response speaks volumes.
Don't get me wrong....I'm glad the CG exists, and appreciate the job they do. However, I'm aware of a long list of situations in which they overreacted, acted inappropriately, or didn't act when they should have, IMO. Administrative communications I (and others) have had with them haven't gone much better. Is it just me, or is this agency out of control?
Edit: I'm interested in the experiences of other skippers. Please resist the temptation to get too political (difficult given the subject, but this is a sailing forum.).

Last edited by L124C; 11-20-2011 at 03:08 PM.
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post #2 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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I once had an ugly meeting with the C.G.. When I got to shore I contacted the commanding officer. After several conversations he apologized. Saying they hire them so quick they don't alwys get the cream of the crop. Funny thing was he asked before I told about one specific offender.........i2f

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post #3 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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It is part of DHS....and their mission has recently changed....what would you expect from a DHS element?

they are merely following orders

IMHO, this will only get worse until DHS gets their way and has some method to "identify" everything that floats. God forbid you get near Dahlgren, Cove Point, Chesapeake Nuclear plant, and the other "security zones" they designate.

Best of luck in changing the mission of USCG or DHS...they are the darling of the President. What other agency can boast the growth and budget, in such a short DHS and led by a woman who is as close to clueless as this president, or the head of the EPA...
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post #4 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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Hmmm, seems some might need to be reminded of the sitting President when DHS became such an intrusive overgrown monied entity and anastamosed the USCG.

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
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post #5 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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yup i've been aware of the deteriation of american citizens rights ,since 911 and the homeland security act,apparently the people we have running this country have **** for brains or some other motives but hey they aren't profiling huh,in fact its more like reverse profiling,is there no more common sence,oh oh here i am breaking my vow not to get political on this forum
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post #6 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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Agreed with all of the above including who signed the bill authorizing the DHS in the first place.
We got our boat post 9/11 and I have done several transits of the East River around Manhattan since then. Most of the time the CG are visible but non-threatening. I've never been stopped or actually harassed.
One time I was along as crew aboard a foreign national's (Chilean) boat and the other crew was from Ukraine by way of Canada. As we passed the U.N. we were escorted by one of their RIBS with the machine gun mounted up forward. They were not pointing the gun at us nor did they want to talk on the radio. They just stayed between us and the shore near the U.N. I'm not sure which foreign dignitary was speaking there that day but I have heard that they will shut down this waterway when someone like the POTUS is speaking there.
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post #7 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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i've never had a problem with the c.g. either in fact to the contrary but theres always some bad apples anywhere,a little authority makes some people full of themselfs
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post #8 of 40 Old 11-19-2011
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I came to this thread thinking something along the lines of College Girls Gone Wild.... What a disappointment

However, I have had two interactions with the USCG;

Once when they escorted me in while taking on water and they could not have been more polite, professional and helpful.

The second time they where making sure I kept proper minimum distance from an outbound Sub in New London Harbor. They acted professionally but made it clear that they where giving the orders. That was fine by my as it helped me keep clear since I don't have radar so really could only eyeball distance in a confined harbor.

All in all I think they do a great job. One does have to keep in mind that most of them are young.
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post #9 of 40 Old 11-20-2011
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We live in the San Juan Islands of WA state near the Canadian border and there are always USCG vessels of various types running around near us (the many smaller SAFE type boats with multiple large outboards use an average of 1000 gallons of gas per day in our small area). I've never had any bad experience with them, and have only been approached a couple of times. Never been boarded, but that may be because we are local and they know our boats. I will say that a lot of the crews are young and inexperienced so I expect that is probably the case in other areas as well. The one time that a USCG boat told us they were going to board us they proceeded to attempt to come along side three times and misjudged it each time (we were stopped, about 15-20 knots of wind and a 2'-3' chop) they finally told us they were concerned about damaging our boat so they were not going to board us. I thought that was considerate, but since we were in our commercial crab boat and they were in an inflatable....
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post #10 of 40 Old 11-20-2011
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I love those guys...SOOOOO much better than Wildlife here in NC...
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