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Old 11-09-2019, 09:19 AM   #101
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I have wondered about that

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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
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.
I am uncertain how they could have escorted me any where were I unwilling. Wouldn't they have go have reasonable cause. Why would any judge grant a search warrant.

Imagine the outcome had previous owners left some pot on board in a place I head not thought to look.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:22 AM   #102
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Not missing anything

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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.
I saw they were near by. I ensured my radio was on 16 and the volume up. They did not call us.

I asked whether they do this kind of thing often, and they said yes. They like to surprise people.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #103
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No communication

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My read is they communicated with your wife and didnít feel the need also use the radio.
Didn't say anything to my wife in words or gesture.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #104
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Humorous incident but not at the time.

I was boarded six times one day returning from the Bahamas more than once by the same agencies. First attempt was about 20 miles offshore was a CG boat about 80 feet in 8 foot seas. Radioed they wanted to board me, I politely refused stating it was dangerous to the boat and those of us on board. I told them I has headed to government cut and once there it would be safe to board. They agreed and that was the first boarding. Five more after that in the course of 6 or 7 miles. Yeah I was pissed.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:34 AM   #105
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We were underway

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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.
Were were going by a mooring field, so i had showed to about five knots.

All you second guessers: no communication odd any type. No arm and hand signals, no siren. No yelling. No winking. Nothing.

I had a proper look out. I knew they were behind us, but not that they were comming so close.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:42 AM   #106
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Perhaps having a slow boat with visible overboard recovery equipment would reduce USCG inquiry?

Not neccessarily...mission parameters dictate the boarding.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:48 AM   #107
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Usually, if you have a USCG 4100 form (boarding slip)...you say you have one from less than a year ago and the USCG will leave you alone in most areas...but maybe not returning to south Florida.


Calling the USCG about a boarding from a state agency will probably give you nothing in particular. They might answer some generic questions, but the USCG has not authority or usually knowledge of what state agencies do in their own state.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:59 AM   #108
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I was boarded today

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Originally Posted by Bigsfish View Post
Humorous incident but not at the time.

I was boarded six times one day returning from the Bahamas more than once by the same agencies. First attempt was about 20 miles offshore was a CG boat about 80 feet in 8 foot seas. Radioed they wanted to board me, I politely refused stating it was dangerous to the boat and those of us on board. I told them I has headed to government cut and once there it would be safe to board. They agreed and that was the first boarding. Five more after that in the course of 6 or 7 miles. Yeah I was pissed.


Great story. U cant say they were not organized to make that point!

We were hailed by BDF patrol boat to approach and raft up in the open ocean. They assigned a man each to a giant inflated fender to keep us from damage. Then, they dropped a few more inspectors on board and we parted while the inspection took place. Yes, they counted every round of ammo on the boat.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:13 AM   #109
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G Yes, they counted every round of ammo on the boat.
What was their reason for doing that?

Bahamian authorities, yes. But in the US?
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:25 AM   #110
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What was their reason for doing that?



Bahamian authorities, yes. But in the US?


Bahamas defence force. Not far from memory rock.
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:36 AM   #111
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If you are boarded in the Bahamas they will check your firearms and count every single round of ammo and caliber looking for an infraction. Probably more strict on ammo than anything else. The BDF usually will have a US coast guard member on board so they can enforce both countries laws.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:19 AM   #112
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The absolute authority to board is written into a statue, but prohibited in Article IV. The Supreme Court does not ever seem to have addressed this directly for pleasure boats, those decisions have hinged narrowly on "reasonable suspicion" and almost all involved commercial traffic. Circuit court decisions seem to be mixed, leaning but not falling to the USCG point of view. Where the CG lost these they have not appealed to the Supreme Court, perhaps they were worried about the answer there.

The test case would be a pleasure boat attempted to board in inland waters, refused by the captain who was then arrested, and nothing found in the subsequent search. Captain willing and able to appeal all the way to the Supreme court. It would take a lot of time and very deep pockets, which I suppose is why it hasn't happened. Also the chance that the CG would not appeal a lower court loss for fear of it becoming the law of the land. There is plenty of case law for automobiles, RVs, etc where such random administrative searches have been held to violate Article IV. A commercial ship on the high seas might be different, but a pleasure boat on inland waters?
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:31 AM   #113
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This?


Article [IV] (Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


A lot of people here have said they didn't think a USCG boarding was "unreasonable".


That's why I have posted several times the USCG doesn't exercise their full power most of the time and gets warrants for other than routine safety checks and doesn't do much with recreational boaters at the dock, etc...etc... They DO want to protect their ability to do their job effectively in the long run.


But I will bet money that it would take a BIG change even in a liberal courts opinion (which hasn't happened yet) to strip the USCG of that power.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:43 AM   #114
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Quote:
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Bahamas defence force. Not far from memory rock.
Ah, missed that you said BDF.

Yep, they count every round. Then later when you are inspected if you have less than counted they "know" you have discharged. If you have more then they "know" you are planning on discharging!
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Old 11-09-2019, 12:23 PM   #115
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Menzies when you enter the Bahamas on your declaration you must list the serial number of your weapons which is checked by the customs inspector and you must list how many rounds and caliber of every bullet you have. When stopped they will search for ammunition and compare to your declaration. If not exact it won’t go well.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:30 PM   #116
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Menzies when you enter the Bahamas on your declaration you must list the serial number of your weapons which is checked by the customs inspector and you must list how many rounds and caliber of every bullet you have. When stopped they will search for ammunition and compare to your declaration. If not exact it wonít go well.
There are those who have not been careful counting and declaring going in and then had a difference when BDF counted on departure and had very serious issues. Taken to jail and eventually allowed to depart after a very sizable fine and banned from returning to the Bahamas.
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Old 11-09-2019, 01:59 PM   #117
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There are those who have not been careful counting and declaring going in and then had a difference when BDF counted on departure and had very serious issues. Taken to jail and eventually allowed to depart after a very sizable fine and banned from returning to the Bahamas.
Easy solution. Don't take a firearm into the Bahamas. Sweep your boat for ammo.
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Old 11-09-2019, 02:39 PM   #118
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Menzies when you enter the Bahamas on your declaration you must list the serial number of your weapons which is checked by the customs inspector and you must list how many rounds and caliber of every bullet you have. When stopped they will search for ammunition and compare to your declaration. If not exact it won’t go well.
I know - go there every year.

I thought he was saying the the USCG had checked for ammo.
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Old 11-09-2019, 03:45 PM   #119
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Just a point of clarification, the case cited in this and many other discussions about LE boardings, UNITED STATES v. VILLAMONTE-MARQUEZ(1983), is actually a US Customs case concerning a 40 ft sailboat (which most would consider recreational size) that was anchored near Lake Charles, La. This case went to the Supreme Court and was upheld.
So anyone considering refusing a boarding or any other silly idea and then taking it to the Supreme Court should know that that question has already been asked AND answered by the highest court.
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Old 11-09-2019, 04:29 PM   #120
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Sounds like a police state to me.
I don't know what's more frightening, that or the fact that you seem to accept it as normal.
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