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Gordon J 11-07-2019 08:50 PM

I was boarded today
 
I was boarded today in st. Augustine Florida by customs and sheriff’s deputies. My wife saw them get close and told me we would be boarded. I told her they would hail us first. A minute later we turned around and three officers were already aboard with their dog.

They were all courteous, but, it seemed strange to be boarded without warning.

Arc 11-07-2019 09:05 PM

They just boarded with out a word spoken ?

healhustler 11-07-2019 09:10 PM

Hmmm. Sounds like the were looking for something or somebody. I was once at a boat ramp where they boarded a guy the same way with a dog. They were looking for an escaped convict.

BandB 11-07-2019 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordon J (Post 818370)
I was boarded today in st. Augustine Florida by customs and sheriff’s deputies. My wife saw them get close and told me we would be boarded. I told her they would hail us first. A minute later we turned around and three officers were already aboard with their dog.

They were all courteous, but, it seemed strange to be boarded without warning.

Where were you going from and where to?

menzies 11-07-2019 09:18 PM

Hmmm, did you ask them about not hailing?

And did you notice CG personnel with them?

I would follow up with a courteous question to Commander CG Station JAX (Mayport). While they were not under his command I would like to hear what he says.

Did you get any post inspection documentation?

Arc 11-07-2019 09:32 PM

General rule is to ‘ Ask permission to board” that makes for a totally legal find, if any contraband is found . By not giving permission things get muddy

Sailor of Fortune 11-07-2019 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordon J (Post 818370)
I was boarded today in st. Augustine Florida by customs and sheriff’s deputies. My wife saw them get close and told me we would be boarded. I told her they would hail us first. A minute later we turned around and three officers were already aboard with their dog.

They were all courteous, but, it seemed strange to be boarded without warning.

St Augustine has a CBP training facility on the San Sebastian river so they are probably trying out their new skills perhaps.

You will see all kinds of CBP Le craft tear assing around town in high speed boats.... Kind of common now

Alaskan Sea-Duction 11-07-2019 09:38 PM

Wow. Need more information

menzies 11-07-2019 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sailor of Fortune (Post 818390)
St Augustine has a CBP training facility on the San Sebastian river so they are probably trying out their new skills perhaps.

You will see all kinds of CBP Le craft tear assing around town in high speed boats.... Kind of common now

See last couple of pics in this post!

Marsh Harbour To Home, and Seeing Our Nation’s Finest At Work! | AtAnchor.com

OldDan1943 11-07-2019 09:49 PM

If they had asked for permission to board you, it would have been purely out of courtesy. If you, the captain, had said NO, they would have stop being nice, escorted you back to a dock, detaining you until they got search warrant.

Arc 11-07-2019 09:56 PM

I have dealt with marine law enforcement for 20 years. I have never seen a boarding happen without some communication prior to stepping on board. We may be missing some facts.

ssobol 11-07-2019 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldDan1943 (Post 818397)
If they had asked for permission to board you, it would have been purely out of courtesy. If you, the captain, had said NO, they would have stop being nice, escorted you back to a dock, detaining you until they got search warrant.

Saying "no" would have probably enabled the reasonable suspicion clause of their contract. I expect boats are treated the same way as cars when it comes to searches.

fletch 11-07-2019 10:35 PM

Heading toward a totalitarian state, what else would you expect, saw the same attitude coming through customs from Canada. The fish rots from the head..

localboy 11-07-2019 11:25 PM

When you say hail...radio or just pull up next to you? Perhaps there is more I’m missing.

SoWhat 11-07-2019 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arc (Post 818388)
General rule is to ‘ Ask permission to board” that makes for a totally legal find, if any contraband is found . By not giving permission things get muddy

Customs/Border Patrol has similar authority as USCG. They can board you at anytime. They might ask "Permission to come aboard Captain" but they're not really asking.

BandB 11-08-2019 12:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by menzies (Post 818394)

That's why I asked his from and to as there's a very high level of activity toward those returning from the Bahamas right now. I have a friend who is a professional captain and they were returning yesterday and a helicopter pulled overhead. He heard someone say they didn't believe that was the boat but he then spoke and said he was the boat under the helicopter. They asked details of nationality of those aboard and made a boat to tell them to call when they entered but then he informed them he used ROAM and they said they'd see him there and that was the end of it.

The feeling is that they're on very high patrol looking for potential Bahamian stowaways. They've been put on a no tolerance policy.

Giggitoni 11-08-2019 12:40 AM

If the police thought a murder was currently underway in a neighbor’s house, do you think they would knock on the door politely and ask if they could come in to talk about it? They probably had a good reason to board. Most boaters don't have VHF 16 on anyway. And I’m not sure I could hear them hailing through their speaker with the racket my boat makes.

rsn48 11-08-2019 12:48 AM

So if the cops go to a crack house they should phone ahead and as a courtesy let them know the cops are coming. Sounds like a plan to me.

markpierce 11-08-2019 12:50 AM

Huh? What did you say? Sorry, I'm old and hard of hearing.

ctjstr 11-08-2019 01:27 AM

you can't compare boats to cars or houses. Rules are totally different. Safest rule to follow is that if you're in waters open to the coast guard or customs, they can search whenever they want. I think that dates back to the 1700's and has been affirmed by the US supreme court 30 years ago. Much greater protections in cars or houses.

sbu22 11-08-2019 01:36 AM

So Gordon's boat is a floating crack house?

78puget-trawler 11-08-2019 01:45 AM

Think if I had LE board without courtesy permission or some contact I would have taken them to task right there and demanded an explanation. Followed up with complaints to on high. That's BS!

ssobol 11-08-2019 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78puget-trawler (Post 818434)
Think if I had LE board without courtesy permission or some contact I would have taken them to task right there and demanded an explanation. Followed up with complaints to on high. That's BS!

You might be demanding that explanation while in handcuffs and face down on the deck.

As in most cases, if armed men board your boat, you're probably better off doing what they say.

Benthic2 11-08-2019 04:18 AM

It seems pretty dangerous. If the OP had changed course or speed as the boarding was taking place it could have resulted in a serious injury. The boardings I have seen they get the capt. attention with lights and siren...tell him or hear to maintain a slow steady course.....and then they board.

FF 11-08-2019 06:03 AM

I see the biggest danger to a silent boarding at night when anchored.

In FL folks are protected by the Castle Law, if they feel there home is being invaded.

A shot gun with 00 buck could spread enough so a vest might not be a big help.

Then it would be a he said , she said ,about notification of boarding.

The cops call it testalying .

psneeld 11-08-2019 06:43 AM

I too have been boarded just south of Charleston without a call (that I know of)...And just south of St Augustine but was contacted. Without contact they had the blue lights on...with contact without. Maybe the courts have defined the blue lights as sufficient warning.



Can ask for permission...but not required.

menzies 11-08-2019 08:12 AM

Think about this.

Would they have done the same in the dead of night? Just quietly stepped on board a moving vessel?

[Edit: saw FF's comment after]

menzies 11-08-2019 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbu22 (Post 818433)
So Gordon's boat is a floating crack house?

Only if he as bent over doing some maintenance! :)

psneeld 11-08-2019 08:58 AM

Yes, Law Enforcement is trained to do the dangerous.

They will do whatever the mission dictates.

Take away the imperitive, and they will go back to reacting to a different threat.

Whether you believe they are doing the right thing, they believe they are, making light of it it just shows a disregard for how serious law enforcement takes their mission, whether or not their supervisors have figured out whether it's right or wrong.

OldDan1943 11-08-2019 09:02 AM

For now, I have a .45acp one the night stand and a 12ga in the closet.
The dead of night, I am silently boarded, they better say something..... before they enter the stateroom.

psneeld 11-08-2019 09:04 AM

Just before they blow your brains out for handling a weapon when THEY have an entry plan in effect.

This is turning laughable.

OldDan1943 11-08-2019 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 818483)
Just before they blow your brains out for handling a weapon when THEY have an entry plan in effect.

This is turning laughable.

Not laughable at all. It is called breaking and entering and I have a right to defend myself. I will be happy if they yell and scream something identifying themselves as law enforcement...... I have not hand a good bowel movement in awhile. SMILE

Woodland Hills 11-08-2019 09:23 AM

If I am awakened by strangers creeping around inside my boat, am I to assume they are LEO’s and surrender to them? Or should I arm myself and prepare to protect my wife and myself? Even on a boat I think I still have a right to protect life and limb from unannounced intruders.

Larry M 11-08-2019 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordon J (Post 818370)
...My wife saw them get close and told me we would be boarded. I told her they would hail us first. A minute later we turned around and three officers were already aboard....

My read is they communicated with your wife and didn’t feel the need also use the radio.

Wayfarer 11-08-2019 09:34 AM

I have an irrational and unjustifiable problem with absolute authority. I realize it's my own failing, but if someone boards my boat forcibly without warning, that's really going to piss me off. Cops or robbers. There's nothing I can do about it except get mad, and that's what's so frustrating to me.

psneeld 11-08-2019 09:36 AM

Seriously amatuers?


If bad guys board and you shoot...you might have a chance...


If a LE boarding team boards and you even have a chance before the stun grenade...you will not after it...so if you think you are going to defend yourself against a well prepared boarding team...you my friend are happily up for a Darwin award and thankfully are reducing the population crunch.

psneeld 11-08-2019 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry M (Post 818492)
My read is they communicated with your wife and didn’t feel the need also use the radio.


Exactly what happened to me and anyone who has a concept of proper lookout get it....


And before anyone gets all pumped up...yes the time they boarded me without warning.... my pax was playing loud music and I wasn't looking aft enough, so shame on me.

rslifkin 11-08-2019 09:40 AM

I don't think anyone said they'd be successfully defending against a boarding team. But the outcome of a boarding could potentially be quite different when it's announced vs them just barging into the cabin with you having no idea what's going on and you potentially reacting in a way they, uh, don't appreciate.

In my case, being that I usually cruise on plane and only have an outside helm, if they manage to drop a team aboard at 17 - 18 kts without me noticing, I think I'd be more impressed than annoyed.

psneeld 11-08-2019 09:44 AM

They can easily in fact board more easily at speed than slow in some cases.



They plan for the same outcome whether you are a mom & pop or 20 bad guys.


So the outcome is the same to you as it is for 20 bad guys if you try and react the same.


If it isn't a well trained boarding team of a SWAT level, then they probably wouldn't even attempt a night boarding with uncertainties.


Again...most of the time these are pretty well trained pros.... against TFers? I as trained at the minimum level for that kind of stuff... and now 40 years later I have a feeling I am a total novice to today's equipment and tactics.

Shrew 11-08-2019 09:59 AM

I've only been boarded once. However, I was doing 24 kts at the time, so nobody was going to just 'board' me. Overtaking me at around 30-35 knots on an intercept course, along with us being the only boat in site, made it clear they at least wanted to talk.

I stopped and they pulled alongside and first asked when the last time I was boarded for a safety inspection. They then asked if they could board.

They were very polite and courteous. Smiles and handshakes all around. They asked fairly basic stuff (pfd's, throwable, etc). Since we keep them within hands reach, all I did was mostly just point ("PDF's are right beside you"; "Throwable is right beside him").

At this point it was very laid back, we were basically 'chat chitting' about their service pistols, and how Sig Saur is in our home state and my wife owns and loves her Sig. (statement for the purpose of context, not to intended to turn this into a gun thread). I then asked what would happen if I had declined their request, to which they all broke out into laughter. The reply "Oh we would have boarded anyway, but it wouldn't be nearly this friendly a visit". :)

I am very surprised they actually boarded without at least advising that they were going to do so. This isn't a center console. This is my home, regardless of whether it's my primary residence or not.

Fletcher500 11-08-2019 10:12 AM

I have been boarded twice. Once by USCG and the second time by the Fed Police near the Mex border so they were looking for drugs. Both times it was announced. As others have noted, I was courteous and respectful, and They were as well. I didn’t realize they could come aboard unannounced, but is what it is. I don’t have a gun.

sbu22 11-08-2019 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Woodland Hills (Post 818490)
If I am awakened by strangers creeping around inside my boat, am I to assume they are LEO’s and surrender to them? Or should I arm myself and prepare to protect my wife and myself? Even on a boat I think I still have a right to protect life and limb from unannounced intruders.

Yeah - Google Nicholas and Tuttle to see how that plan works out. The hyper aggressive dynamic entry types regard all "civilians"
as dangerous suspects all of the time. A careerist cop on a perceived holy mission is not to be taken lightly.

I'd like to see LEOs held to the same standards of conduct accountability as a 19 year old lance corporal in a combat zone. That would do a lot to slow this BS down.

denverd0n 11-08-2019 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssobol (Post 818402)
Saying "no" would have probably enabled the reasonable suspicion clause of their contract.

Common misconception, but the Supreme Court has ruled on this specifically. If a law-enforcement officer asks you to voluntarily do anything -- answer questions, submit to a search, whatever -- and you tell him "no," that absolutely does NOT constitute either "probable cause" nor "reasonable, articulable suspicion" of anything. They cannot justify an unwarranted search by claiming that you refused to consent to a voluntary search and they found that suspicious.



Beyond that, the OP never said that he was underway when this happened. Perhaps he was anchored, his wife was on deck and clearly saw the LEOs, and so they just stepped onto his swim platform and up onto the boat. If that's the case, I don't see a problem. If they were, in fact, underway when the boarding occurred, then they were putting themselves at unnecessary risk by not having him slow or stop.

psneeld 11-08-2019 10:23 AM

I believe they ARE held to the same standard...just a different situation and supervision.


My military briefings were similar to my LE briefings....the main difference that I have seen between the two after 40 years is it may be more dangerous for the LE officer than the Lance Corporal in some situations but I agree hat both are not facing a uniformed and declared enemy most of the time and ROE are really not fair.

Britannia 11-08-2019 10:25 AM

This 4-part article makes a very interesting read. It provides the history behind the USCG powers as well as a discussion of the 4th amendment and legal challenges. I highly recommend it:


https://www.sailfeed.com/2012/10/coa...rights-part-1/


Richard
m/v Stillwater

psneeld 11-08-2019 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denverd0n (Post 818519)
Common misconception, but the Supreme Court has ruled on this specifically. If a law-enforcement officer asks you to voluntarily do anything -- answer questions, submit to a search, whatever -- and you tell him "no," that absolutely does NOT constitute either "probable cause" nor "reasonable, articulable suspicion" of anything. They cannot justify an unwarranted search by claiming that you refused to consent to a voluntary search and they found that suspicious.



Beyond that, the OP never said that he was underway when this happened. Perhaps he was anchored, his wife was on deck and clearly saw the LEOs, and so they just stepped onto his swim platform and up onto the boat. If that's the case, I don't see a problem. If they were, in fact, underway when the boarding occurred, then they were putting themselves at unnecessary risk by not having him slow or stop.


No need for probable cause whether you say yes or no to a routing boarding.


And a fast boarding isn't any more dangerous than s faster boarding if done correctly in my opinion....the boats sometimes suck together better and are less affected by the natural waves.

rslifkin 11-08-2019 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 818524)
And a fast boarding isn't any more dangerous than s faster boarding if done correctly in my opinion....the boats sometimes suck together better and are less affected by the natural waves.

Yes, however, a boarding where the person at the helm knows another boat is going to approach would be safer regardless of speed, as they're less likely to make a course change, etc. Fortunately, unless on a very loud boat, a higher speed boarding is less likely to happen un-noticed, as the boat delivering the boarding party is likely going to be making more noise (wake interaction, engine noise, general water noise, etc.) than they would if approaching slowly.

psneeld 11-08-2019 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Britannia (Post 818523)
This 4-part article makes a very interesting read. It provides the history behind the USCG powers as well as a discussion of the 4th amendment and legal challenges. I highly recommend it:


https://www.sailfeed.com/2012/10/coa...rights-part-1/


Richard
m/v Stillwater


I am not sure a lot of that article is accurate.


It's not what I experienced in 20+ years of stopping vessels at sea.


While a warrant-less search is permissible by law....most stops are "safety" checks and cannot search small areas, compartments, personal gear etc....without probable cause.


Even IF the boarding team can....99.9% of the time I was involved, we didn't because the USCG protects that overreaching authority with vengence to not lose it over a silly little case.

psneeld 11-08-2019 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rslifkin (Post 818528)
Yes, however, a boarding where the person at the helm knows another boat is going to approach would be safer regardless of speed, as they're less likely to make a course change, etc. Fortunately, unless on a very loud boat, a higher speed boarding is less likely to happen un-noticed, as the boat delivering the boarding party is likely going to be making more noise (wake interaction, engine noise, general water noise, etc.) than they would if approaching slowly.


Sure a recognized/agreed upon boarding is always easier (speed not necessarily the important factor)....


Not sure how many boardings/high speed coming alongsides you have been involved with...but I disagree either is a big deal for a well trained coxswain and boarding team. It's more the combo of vessels that speed or agreement.

Britannia 11-08-2019 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 818529)
I am not sure a lot of that article is accurate.


It's not what I experienced in 20+ years of stopping vessels at sea.


While a warrant-less search is permissible by law....most stops are "safety" checks and cannot search small areas, compartments, personal gear etc....without probable cause.


Even IF the boarding team can....99.9% of the time I was involved, we didn't because the USCG protects that overreaching authority with vengence to not lose it over a silly little case.

I'm not sure if you had time to read all 4 parts. In part 4 there is acknowledgement of the commandant's rule to not search private spaces.



Richard
m/v Stillwater


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