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Old 11-08-2019, 02:45 PM   #69
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City: Lake Stevens, WA via Honolulu
Country: USA
Vessel Name: 'Au Kai (Ocean Traveler)
Vessel Model: C-Dory 25
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 213
The original poster has not added any more info. With that said, it appears that perhaps there is a miscommunication between he and his wife. I read his original post again and his wife somehow knew they would be boarded. Speculation until he returns and clarifies, of course.

As to boarding, I/we have been boarded a few times, mainly by the USCG, twice by WDFW (WA State fish cops) and we run across DHS all the time, although they have never stopped us. In each and every contact LE was courteous, professional and was gone in a matter of minutes. They didn't hail us on 16. They approached us from the stern up to port with blue lights on. The did this for tactics/safety as our helm in on the starboard side. LE will always do things to their tactical advantage, when possible. I saw them, slowed and they stated they were coming aboard. There is more than enough precedent on the books that this is allowed within standard procedures. They are allowed to board, conduct safety/document checks et al. Any detailed "search" such as a detailed search of closed spaces is another matter; they may/may not need a warrant, depending on the situation and those involved (Fed vs local LE). I cannot comment on searching say, a container ship, as I have no knowledge of how that works and the required authority to do so.

As to being "uncooperative", I would highly advise against that. Like I said, 99.9% of contacts are done and over in a matter of minutes. They will most certainly ask if there are any weapons on board and if there are, where they are located. You will speak with one LE officer. He/she is the "contact". There will usually be two "cover" officers; the ones that stand there and watch everything going on. Their job is to react properly to any perceived or real threat. Someone handles their boat (coxswain) and there may be one more person that handles the communication/records checks via laptop etc., especially when dealing with Feds (USCG/DHS). They do this all the time and they are well versed, well trained and professional.

The only time anyone would see some specialized tactical entry (SWAT etc) would be some high risk target,with tons of ops planning, research etc. You and your wife on a weekend outing in your trawler are not going to be "raided" by a spec ops team. Just saying. Any talk of "I have a shot gun...and if they raid us..." is ridiculous and again, would not end well.

Personally, I have no issue with them doing what they do. Their job is to maintain the security of our nation. Literally. And they do it 24/365 for little pay and in sometimes, shitty conditions.
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