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Old 03-08-2008, 09:03 PM   #1
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Probable Cause?

I see that a handout supplied with my USCG documentation reads, "State and Local Officials have the right to board documented vessels for law enforcement purposes."
Can anyone take me to school on what exactly this means?

This may be an interesting topic to many folks who are liveaboards.

John
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Old 03-09-2008, 04:14 AM   #2
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RE: Probable Cause?

Even though you live aboard, you don't have the same rights that someone does in a house. You can be boarded and searched at any time with no probable cause. It's because you are on a means of transportation, and this goes way back to the early days of the country, when law enforcement could board boats at any time to check for contraband, smugglers, etc.

Now if they find any illegal drugs, as little as one pot seed, your boat is confiscated and you'll never see it again. Period. That's their zero tolerance policy at work.
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:22 AM   #3
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RE: Probable Cause?

They still need "probable cause".

The problem is if either DUMBO or the SHREW win the next election having a US flag displayed would be probable cause for a search.

A copy of the Constitution for the United States might get you prison time!

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Old 03-09-2008, 06:22 AM   #4
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RE: Probable Cause?

Nope, they don't need probable cause to board a boat.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:02 AM   #5
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RE: Probable Cause?

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Our privacy rights have taken a bigger hit under Shrub than at any time since the Civil War.* Things will improve when Obama or Hillary takes the WH.

FF wrote:

They still need "probable cause".

The problem is if either DUMBO or the SHREW win the next election having a US flag displayed would be probable cause for a search.

A copy of the Constitution for the United States might get you prison time!

FF
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Old 03-09-2008, 05:03 PM   #6
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RE: Probable Cause?

USCG's ability to board you at will has been around much longer than Bush has been president.

When I hear people speak ill of Bush, I remember that he had trouble with "misunderestimate". Clinton had trouble with "is".

Ken Buck
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Old 03-09-2008, 07:37 PM   #7
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RE: Probable Cause?

Bush had no trouble running the country off a cliff.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:56 AM   #8
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RE: Probable Cause?

"Bush had no trouble running the country off a cliff."

Sorry , guess I missed the cliff,,, with the best economy the world has ever seen for almost 5 years. Created by removing a tiny portion of the tax burden.

No attacks by the dozens of Alkida cells now in the country , and job's and home ownership at record highs.

Sure some condo flippers are stuck and some dumb greedy banks are getting their DUE, but so what? Thats what orderly Bankrupcy laws are for!

No risk , no reward, when TV shows are called "Flip this House" and imbeciles get 50K for a 3 week repaint , no question there will be hassles.

The current food price is due to 20 years of pushing by the greens , combined by the primary being in a corn state , so free cash for ADM , and an almost 200% price rise to loose energy with gasahol is very partly Bushes fault.

He didn't veto the gasahol subsidies as he should have.

Still waiting to hear of a SINGLE loss of privacy by the ACLU , they want to sue , sue , sue , but are unable to show ONE harmed "victim " out of 300,000,000 folks and 5 years!

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Old 03-10-2008, 05:26 AM   #9
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RE: Probable Cause?

WooHoo! Go FF!
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:59 AM   #10
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RE: Probable Cause?

FF, what you been smoking, man?* The way things are going I need a vacation from reality, too.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:00 AM   #11
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RE: Probable Cause?

Atta boy Fred! Hard to argue with the facts!
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:45 AM   #12
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RE: Probable Cause?

Keep on topic or go OTDE!!!


I was also under the impression that if your boat is documented, that the CG for all practical purposes, "owns" your boat and therefore can board at will.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:49 AM   #13
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RE: Probable Cause?

So now that the dark side is running Congress things are improving quickly? I seem to remember how things were going to change when the Dems got control of Congress! Well, are we starting to see change yet? Are we seeing the fruits of their 5 day work week (oh, it's only 3 days? I must have heard Nancy Baloney wrong) Hows that new fiscal policy working? Oh, the economy is starting to tank? You mean people aren't investing quite as much into jobs and the economy when the middle class tax breaks are held up in Congress? You do recall that the middle class was the prime beneficiary of the tax cuts regardless of what the press headlined.

I can hardly wait to see how wonderful my healthcare becomes when everyone becomes entitled. Perhaps they have some Doctors waiting in the wings to supplement care for every little ache and pain? Maybe they can ration operating room time like Canada does. Have you seen the average wait time for carpel tunnel surgery?

Yep, we jumped off the cliff with Bush. Odrama and Shrillary will put an Acme rocket on our backs headed straight down. Of course the sooner you hit bottom the sooner you can start crawling back up.

Ken
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:10 PM   #14
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RE: Probable Cause?

I find it interesting that most of you that are complaining, I perceive as male, white and/or middle class.* It would be an eye opener if you gave up your status, and you knew first hand about probable cause. I am sure most of you will be one of the very first who will call them if you think your rights were being infringed on.

*
Probable cause can be anything from you/your boats appearance, perceived society status, to just looking/admiring some thing/body.* Any give day I go from perceived white, middle/upper class to a third class low live, which I find interesting and/or humorous. ***

*
Furthermore, being a live aboard the dirt/land basic right of knowing you will have moorage/a place to live is month to month as the marina can give you 30 days notice or take your live aboard status away with out reason. One of the reason we bought the condo is its a lot easier to find non live aboard moorage then live a board as we were given 30 days notice with out warning, which is very un nerving.* So when the marina says jump you jump, no questions asked.*

*
If the marina, police coast guard want to board/inspect my boat they have my blessing with or without cause as I have nothing to hide. I would be more up set if a stranger boarded the boat and went though/stole some stuff.* The Seattle and the Everett marina security, police and maybe the coast guard know the Eagle and me as I have called them several times especially living in the middle or a large metro city. In fact before I moved to Everett I met and made sure they did not have a concern/problems with my live style.*

*
So before you complain to much walk the walk before you talk the talk.* I am very grateful*for the marina securety,*police and coast guard.*

*
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:51 PM   #15
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RE: Probable Cause?

I know a few people in the USCG and I've known a lot of police officers over the years. None of them have struck me as the kind of folks who sit around thinking up new ways to hassle peope just for the fun of it.

I think the important thing to remember is that all these things we view as impositions, be it boat boardings or airport security or red-light cameras, are there because enough people broke the law or inconvenienced or endangered the rest of us that complaints mounted until some action was taken.

Many of us can remember back when locking their house or car door was not an essential thing to do.

So we can grouse about our "rights" being erroded away if that's what you view is happening, but we need to put the blame in the right place. It's not the USCG or local police or Homeland Security, it's the people that have done the things that have prompted the actions being taken.

We can blame it on schools or bad parenting or television or any of a million things that have led to the errosion of personal responsibility and consideration and the proliferation of violence to get one's point across, but regardless, it's not the enforcers or the invasive laws that are the threat, it's the people who make those enforcers and laws necessary.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:40 PM   #16
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RE: Probable Cause?

Marin:

Well said. I must admit, however, that I've been boarded for half an hour at the most inconvenient times but since I have nothing to hide, it wasn't a big deal.

Walt
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:44 PM   #17
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RE: Probable Cause?

Quote:
Baker wrote:

Keep on topic or go OTDE!!!


I was also under the impression that if your boat is documented, that the CG for all practical purposes, "owns" your boat and therefore can board at will.
They don't "own" it, but it is considered to be a little piece of the US if you're outside the waters of the US. Kinda like your own little consulate.

However, boardings go way back to the early US. I think it was called the Lifeboat Service way back when... they were given the authority to board any vessel, period as they could be carrying contraband, smuggling, etc. Since it's a means of transportation, not a house, whether you live aboard or not, they can board you any time with no probable cause. Don't need one. They can board to do an "inspection", check your papers, cargo, whatever. I guess you could try to refuse but I'm sure you'd be unhappy with the consequences!
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:13 PM   #18
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RE: Probable Cause?

We've been boarded twice by the USCG in the ten years we've owned the boat. Both times we were able to maintain our course and speed once the boarding party was on board--- the CG's SAFE boat simply stood off a bit and paced us. The boarding party had a checklist, all safety or required items, that they went through. Of course in the process they looked through the entire boat. However I don't recall them opening drawers or cupboards. They were polite, friendly, and efficient and, like Walt's experience, it took about 30 minutes.

From what I understand, random searches are often productive here in the PNW on the water and roads around the border in terms of drugs, illegal immigrants, explosives, etc. So if it takes an occasional boarding of our boat to maintain the "random" principle, it doesn't bother us.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:50 PM   #19
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RE: Probable Cause?

That might work in in some areas, but it doesn't seem to work in ours. We have the annual exam stickers (from the Coast Guard Auxilliary) and have a good friend who conducted the inspections for the local Auxiliary that some of the USCG guys who boarded us knew. My wife even pointed out the stickers in case they hadn't noticed them. Their reply was that it's a great idea to have a courtesy inspection but it doesn't alter their own requirement to do their own inspection.

One difference might be that the USCG guys here aren't really all that interested in carrying out an actual safety inspection. They are boarding the boats for entirely different reasons--- the safety inspection is just their friendly "excuse" for boarding your boat.

Customs and Immigration came up to our boat once with (I assume) the intention of boarding. I was on the foredeck with our new puppy who was relieving himself prolifically against the side of the forecabin. I heard a roar and turned around in time to see the big gray and black triple-engined SAFE boat peel off in a 180 degree turn and head away from us.

My wife said they'd come up on our starboard quarter with their blue light flashing but they all started laughing at the sight of the puppy peeing away. My wife indicated with her hands if she should slow down and she said they just waved and sped away, still laughing.

So it seems around here the secret to avoiding a boarding is to have a puppy ready to pee on deck if an official boat appears alongside.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:51 PM   #20
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RE: Probable Cause?

Quote:
gns wrote:

FF, what you been smoking, man?* The way things are going I need a vacation from reality, too.
Seriously.* FF's apparently started his deNile cruise early.*
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