Originally Posted by GFC
I'm glad the FWC officer is doing OK. It's always a scary situation when boarding a boat when you're alone. Same as doing a traffic stop when you're alone. No matter how many of the variables you try to control to make sure you are safe, you can't control all of them.
My thought when I read about the officer jumping in the water is that the bad guys might have been between him and his boat and the only line of safe retreat was overboard.
OD, please keep us posted as details of how this played out become available.
I'll do my best Mike.
You hit it on the head in your first paragraph.
Having conducted more traffic stops than I can count, both in a car and on a motorcycle, there really are too many variables to control everything.
You mitigate what you can, and do the best with whatever you can't when it presents. On a boat you have the added issue of slower backup forces, and a "ground" that moves under your feet!
If he were on board, in this situation a lot would depend on the design and construction of the vessel. Fiberglass, Glass over wood, steel, etc., and whether there's anything to use for cover or concealment such as bulkheads or a cabin top.
As well, the caliber of incoming rounds vs. distance between the shooter and the officer or any available cover/concealment become a serious factor. Unfortunately when the SHTF is not the time to try and sort it all out.
Training and instincts have to take over, and pray you make the right decisions. IMHO, there is never "enough" scenario based force on force training. When he recovers, if he's able to handle it, I'd love to have him teaching the class! Who better than one whose BTDT and survived
For the reasons previously mentioned, I'm still not sure he was off of his vessel. If he felt comfortable, and the situation was "controlled", at least momentarily in his mind, then he may have boarded. But again, I'm just guessing like everyone else at this point.
Originally Posted by psneeld
I have NEVER seen a solo officer board a vessel (thankfully).....tantamount to suicide in the wrong situation and it would be a terrible policy. Still not sure this one did either.
I'm not sure I understood that last sentence, but I definitely won't disagree with you regarding policy or safety my friend. I am actually surprised that we haven't had more of this sort of thing happen.
That's the difference between USCG boarding teams and local/state Marine Law Enforcement Units. You can take an SS, YN, BM, ET, etc., give them the training and qual. codes, and assign them collateral duties as a boarding team member. You can't do that with LEO's.
At the time, I was with one of the largest Sheriff's Offices in the State, and about 5th largest in the country if memory serves me correctly.
I remember our marine unit having one (1)
officer on board...period! The only time they had a backup officer, was if there was a reserve/auxiliary officer with them, or when one of us that were relatively new to the job, off duty, and "ate up with it" would tag along.
As for FWC, I'm not at all sure that is their "policy."
I just know what I've seen and experienced first hand.
Unfortunately, when we're talking about strained budgets and limited manpower, that's what sometimes happens. With the larger agencies not so much.
I have a long time friend who works with one of the fairly large Marine Units in South East Florida. While he "can" take the vessel out and patrol solo, the supervisor has "highly recommended" that there always be two (2) officers on board. So apparently it's not their "policy" either, just a recommendation
Whatever the case, the policies HAVE
to change! Every boat with a badge attached, needs to have at least two (2) officers on board when U/W.
I will admit that I've started noticing a trend in local law enforcement toward having at least two (2) sometimes three (3) officers on board depending on the size of the vessel and the detail
Any more than that it gets pretty crowded and people tend to get in each other's way.