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Old 11-10-2019, 09:02 AM   #141
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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.
Is boat named "Training Aid"??

Or perhaps it was "THE" day for new crews to practice.

Govt Cut has always been an active area for dope and illegal smuggling
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:47 AM   #142
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For those of us on this thread who aren't millennials, we can see how our country changed after 2001. In fact you might say that Osama actually won the war, because the permanent changes to society have been significant. It shows itself in heightened awareness and security levels, which sometimes do seem to border on paranoia.

That's a sad state of affairs, but we are nowhere near being an actual police state. I spent a couple years and had assignments in Syria and that place is about as close to experiencing what Nazi Germany was like. I still recall the body language, stiffness and smell of fear that overcame people when we were just driving by certain buildings in town. I don't think Lebanon was a police state, and Beirut was rather free and fun, but when you run into a group of Hezbollah and see the military presence, you realize that just below the surface are some serious issues.

Not sure where I'm going with this, but I would say that we should try to appreciate what we have here in western countries, but at the same time there is no reason to "bend at the knee" when any authority seems to be over-reaching itself, whether in our homes or on our boats.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:56 AM   #143
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Have you read that decision? First of all, it depended on the waterway having ready access to the sea, so would not apply at some distance from the ocean or on a lake. Second, it was a split decision (6-3) with a well reasoned dissent, rendered almost 40 years ago, which itself reversed precedent. Third, the boat in question was foreign registered and crewed, and happened to have 5800 lbs of ganga on board. None of the justices who decided that case are still on the court (though the attorney who argued it, is). A heck of a lot of legal scholars believe the decision was flawed.

So saying that this has been finally decided is hardly the case. There is certainly a reasonable possibility that it might be reversed today, especially under different facts.

Now, I'm not going to refuse the boarding because defending that refusal would take a lot of time and money, and might not succeed. If I was wealth enough I would give it a go.

All you need is about $2 million to process your case. A hunter in Alaska took his case, twice to the Supreme Court. Simple retired hunter. Final cost $1.6 million. The only reason he could proceed was due to donations. This is the REAL crime. Our legal system is $$$ for lawyers. It rarely out of justice.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:13 PM   #144
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I'll stand by my original position in stating that I have no objection to being boarded by any law enforcement cops. I have zero to hide and not afraid of a boarding for safety equipment check, documentation check, etc.


Now, all that being said, if they boarded to do a safety check and started opening cupboards, drawers, etc., I would call bullsh!it on them and question their PC to do a search as opposed to their stated reason for the stop which was a safety equipment check.


Lacking any justification for a search vs safety check, I would ask to speak to their supervisor to ask his opinion.
So Mike what is the material difference between a "search" and a "safety check?"

One requires a search warrant from a court because I am going to open drawers and cabinets, while a "Safety Check" doesn't require a search warrant because I am not opening drawers? While doing a safety check I am pretty sure the LEO is looking for "something" out in plain sight, thus probable cause. So it isn't just a "safety check."

Now my argument above concerns LEO, not USCG or Boarder Patrol.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:51 PM   #145
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I look at this way. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right. Is it worth spending a million dollars to fight it? Only if you have several millions to play with, I don't.
Other thing is this.
We should not have to waive our 4th Amendment freedoms when stepping aboard our privately owned pleasure boats to engage in legal activity and be at the relative mercy of any LE, CG folks that like to buzz around in fast boats "honing" their drug interdiction skills.
I probably will be boarded some day, and I will comply and try to be as meek as some seem to think is required, but doesn't mean I have to like it or kiss up to anybody. Sure as hell aint gonna make freaking breakfast for them!
I have no problem with the CG performing its prime function, saving lives. My late uncle Mark Freeman, was a Coastie and saved quite a few lives on the WA coast and was commended for it.
My dad also had his bacon saved once by the CG when his tugs engine quit in Dixon Entrance during nasty weather and tug and tow may have been on the rocks but for the 40 footer that came out from Ketchikan and held him off until he could sort out the problem, which he did. That was in about 1967.
So its nothing personal against them or any LE.
But this idea, and here I agree with our friends from OZ, that we should just be happy as little lambsy sheeples to be boarded for no reason other than "safety checks" by any LE or CG without cause is baloney, and the law needs to be set aside insofar as pleasure boats are concerned at least. No obvious probable cause, no boardie. Just like in your home, and we should expect no less.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:02 PM   #146
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I am neither lambsy or a sheeple...heck I was in the outfit and probably tossed out earlier than I wanted because I argued the good fight on many topics....

BUT...just because one thinks an LEO stop is unconstitutional doesn't make it so.

The term "unreasonable" is used in the Constitution SO it can be determined by justice...and so far it has.

PS...more than just SAR saves lives so the USCG is happy to continue to do all of its mission categories...not just saving lives.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:06 PM   #147
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I agree. It seems that since 9/11 we've given up much of our freedoms and privacy. I've been boarded many times. USCG, CBP, US Navy + USCG team, CCG, RCMP, Canadian border patrol even First Nations in Canada. The strangest being a mixed team of US and Canadian officials on the US side of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. I've been stopped by CBP as I walk up the dock away from the boat. I always handle it the same way. Treat them with respect in a civil manner. I don't resist but I'm not welcoming or overly friendly. I show them my and the ship's documents and answer their questions as briefly as possible. When they give me conflicting instructions I sternly ask for clarification.

Edit: I should make it clear the above boardings with one exception were not while running a private pleasure craft.

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I look at this way. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right. Is it worth spending a million dollars to fight it? Only if you have several millions to play with, I don't.
Other thing is this.
We should not have to waive our 4th Amendment freedoms when stepping aboard our privately owned pleasure boats to engage in legal activity and be at the relative mercy of any LE, CG folks that like to buzz around in fast boats "honing" their drug interdiction skills.
I probably will be boarded some day, and I will comply and try to be as meek as some seem to think is required, but doesn't mean I have to like it or kiss up to anybody. Sure as hell aint gonna make freaking breakfast for them!
I have no problem with the CG performing its prime function, saving lives. My late uncle Mark Freeman, was a Coastie and saved quite a few lives on the WA coast and was commended for it.
My dad also had his bacon saved once by the CG when his tugs engine quit in Dixon Entrance during nasty weather and tug and tow may have been on the rocks but for the 40 footer that came out from Ketchikan and held him off until he could sort out the problem, which he did. That was in about 1967.
So its nothing personal against them or any LE.
But this idea, and here I agree with our friends from OZ, that we should just be happy as little lambsy sheeples to be boarded for no reason other than "safety checks" by any LE or CG without cause is baloney, and the law needs to be set aside insofar as pleasure boats are concerned at least. No obvious probable cause, no boardie. Just like in your home, and we should expect no less.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:12 PM   #148
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So Mike what is the material difference between a "search" and a "safety check?"
The courts have been more clear about this. The type of search the CG does is called an administrative search, and is allowed only to ensure compliance with safety, documentation, and revenue regulations. If during that search they see something "in plain sight" that arouses reasonable suspicion, then they can go further. The CG has sometimes interpreted safety compliance to require going through your underwear drawer and pockets. This has not held up in some court decisions and may not in the future.

The sticky question is: when does it become a 'pretextual' search, that is the real motivation is to find contraband but the pretext of the search is to check registration and life jackets? A fair amount of these court decisions is devoted to sorting this issue.

The general public, driving their RV down the highway, would not stand for armed military officers randomly stopping them, entering the vehicle and searching through the drawers, under the floor, on their persons, etc., nor will the courts. The excuse given for vessels is the ancient revue cutter act, and the fact that boats may have access to the open sea and foreign countries without a border stop. Certainly for pleasure boats operating on inland waters the distinction is weak or vanishing. The context in which the revenue cutter act was passed is obsolete, and has been for some time.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:13 PM   #149
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Meekly giving up your rights provided by the Constitution weakens it for everyone but at the moment your contacted is not the time to fight, voice your opinion certainly but control yourself. You may win in the long term but getting nasty and physical will just get you a ride and probably a night or two in jail until a hearing. More and more agencies are going to body cams which should provide a true picture but remember the authorities may walk you into a trap as the know the camera is on.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:18 PM   #150
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...When they give me conflicting instructions I sternly ask for clarification.

..


U guys are bringing up bad memories. While trying in vain to silence an alarm system, in a commercial warehouse, LEO show up, guns at me thru a locked glass door. One is yelling freeze, the other is yelling open the door. I’m flat on the carpet and manage a quick turn of the head and squeak out a “which is it”.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:27 PM   #151
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The courts have been more clear about this. The type of search the CG does is called an administrative search, and is allowed only to ensure compliance with safety, documentation, and revenue regulations. If during that search they see something "in plain sight" that arouses reasonable suspicion, then they can go further. The CG has sometimes interpreted safety compliance to require going through your underwear drawer and pockets. This has not held up in some court decisions and may not in the future.

The sticky question is: when does it become a 'pretextual' search, that is the real motivation is to find contraband but the pretext of the search is to check registration and life jackets? A fair amount of these court decisions is devoted to sorting this issue.

The general public, driving their RV down the highway, would not stand for armed military officers randomly stopping them, entering the vehicle and searching through the drawers, under the floor, on their persons, etc., nor will the courts. The excuse given for vessels is the ancient revue cutter act, and the fact that boats may have access to the open sea and foreign countries without a border stop. Certainly for pleasure boats operating on inland waters the distinction is weak or vanishing. The context in which the revenue cutter act was passed is obsolete, and has been for some time.
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Meekly giving up your rights provided by the Constitution weakens it for everyone but at the moment your contacted is not the time to fight, voice your opinion certainly but control yourself. You may win in the long term but getting nasty and physical will just get you a ride and probably a night or two in jail until a hearing. More and more agencies are going to body cams which should provide a true picture but remember the authorities may walk you into a trap as the know the camera is on.
So you guys have a good point. I will concede that the USCG has jurisdiction on any navigable waterway. Out to 200nm?

My real concern is that local Sheriff or State cop who thinks they can board you in the same manner as the USCG: Anytime, anyplace. Using the "Safety Check" as an excuse to board you.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:49 PM   #152
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So you guys have a good point. I will concede that the USCG has jurisdiction on any navigable waterway. Out to 200nm?

My real concern is that local Sheriff or State cop who thinks they can board you in the same manner as the USCG: Anytime, anyplace. Using the "Safety Check" as an excuse to board you.
The problem is that if you tell the local LEO that he/she can't come aboard to do an inspection it's not like they're just going to say "Well ok then, we'll be off now."

Telling them no will cause things to downhill fast.

In my area, I've seen the local LEOs set up on the ramps of the local boat launches to do DUI checks. They board any boat they want to. I was told when I moved there that when driving in VA, avoiding a checkpoint is considered probable cause (probably because you break some other traffic law when doing so, like making an illegal U-turn). When the LEOs set up on the docks at the ramp, there is also a boat on patrol which I expect to go after boats that do a similar thing.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:08 PM   #153
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The problem is that if you tell the local LEO that he/she can't come aboard to do an inspection it's not like they're just going to say "Well ok then, we'll be off now."

Telling them no will cause things to downhill fast.

In my area, I've seen the local LEOs set up on the ramps of the local boat launches to do DUI checks. They board any boat they want to. I was told when I moved there that when driving in VA, avoiding a checkpoint is considered probable cause (probably because you break some other traffic law when doing so, like making an illegal U-turn). When the LEOs set up on the docks at the ramp, there is also a boat on patrol which I expect to go after boats that do a similar thing.
OK so I am assuming there is a state law on BUIs? So what about a marine safety check to try and gin up a probable cause?
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:09 PM   #154
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Is it possible that since a boat is not a necessity, it is not afforded the same status as a house ? For example, driving a car is a privelege, not a right. Because of this you can lose your license for refusing a breathalyzer test, even if you are not convicted of DUI.
( At least you can in MA, DMV rules vary by state)
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:12 PM   #155
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The latest true and accurate data. Beware of what “the media” reports. They have an obvious agenda. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=6406

https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpp15_sum.pdf
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:15 PM   #156
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So Mike what is the material difference between a "search" and a "safety check?"

One requires a search warrant from a court because I am going to open drawers and cabinets, while a "Safety Check" doesn't require a search warrant because I am not opening drawers? While doing a safety check I am pretty sure the LEO is looking for "something" out in plain sight, thus probable cause. So it isn't just a "safety check."

Now my argument above concerns LEO, not USCG or Boarder Patrol.
DDW addressed this quite clearly but from an LEO or USCG point of view, if they stop me for a documentation or safety check ask me for my registration and other papers I will have to go down below into the 2nd stateroom to get my files. It would be entirely appropriate for them to accompany me for their own safety, to ensure I didn't come up with a firearm.

It's also appropriate for them to do a quick walk through of the boat to determine who else is on board. Again, for their safety.

While doing the walk through or accompanying me while I get my papers, if they observe something illegal (crack pipe, other illegal contraband) that is in plain view they can seize it. The presence of contraband opens up the boat to more intrusive searches into closets, drawers, etc. in search of more illegal substances.

Courts all across the country have ruled that LEO's do not have to ignore illegal material (or what a "reasonable man" would determine is contraband) that is in plain view.

As to ASD's question, the safety check or document check does not, in itself, give them authority to look inside drawers, cabinets, etc. Only after plain view seizures of contraband can the safety check move to a search.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:26 PM   #157
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Is it possible that since a boat is not a necessity, it is not afforded the same status as a house ? For example, driving a car is a privelege, not a right. Because of this you can lose your license for refusing a breathalyzer test, even if you are not convicted of DUI.
( At least you can in MA, DMV rules vary by state)
Quote:
The Constitution requires that a police officer have probable cause for a traffic stop. But the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the dangers from drunk driving outweigh the "degree of intrusion" of sobriety checkpoints and they are an exception to the search and seizure provisions of the U.S. Constitution.
Don't know application of this ruling has been tested for boats, but it might not be that big of a stretch to say it also applies to recreational boats. At least it seems to apply in my area.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:34 PM   #158
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...
As to ASD's question, the safety check or document check does not, in itself, give them authority to look inside drawers, cabinets, etc. Only after plain view seizures of contraband can the safety check move to a search.
However, if you open a locker or drawer to say get your papers or show them where you stow the lifejackets and they see contraband in said locker or drawer then they now can search pretty much anything.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:57 PM   #159
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Hmmm, you TELL them where the ship's papers are located. My ship's papers are on the bridge.
You TELL them where the guns and ammo are located.
You do not leave the helm unless instructed.
Restrain your animals and no one make any sudden moves.
You can make this easy or difficult. Your decision.
A safety inspection, to me, is when they inspect to see if the inspection has expired, the number of PFDs are enough for everyone on board.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:12 PM   #160
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So you guys have a good point. I will concede that the USCG has jurisdiction on any navigable waterway. Out to 200nm?

My real concern is that local Sheriff or State cop who thinks they can board you in the same manner as the USCG: Anytime, anyplace. Using the "Safety Check" as an excuse to board you.
They have jurisdiction over any US vessel in international waters worldwide, US waters and foreign waters if that government gives permission.
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