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-   -   Boarded by Coast Guard (https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s3/boarded-coast-guard-37964.html)

swampu 04-14-2018 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldDan1943 (Post 654223)
They took your passengers to the USCG boat and your boat to the dock for a further inspection? What was their reasoning?



I was young, offshore about 20 miles with my friend who was the only one of age and 4 women. They (girls) were drinking beer, I was trying to fix the boat and apparently doing large 1 mile circles, they CG thought it was a drug deal (drop), they thought I was drinking, which I wasnít. They took the crew and took over my boat till we got to the dock and they could sort thinks out. All the girls had to call their moms, funny now looking back

diver dave 04-14-2018 01:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Retriever (Post 654276)
I've been boarded by the USCG once. ...

It's pretty weird having armed, helmeted guys in big boots searching the boat ...
The officers were professional and courteous, but the whole experience left a sour taste in my mouth about the Coast Guard.

hey, you might have had an undersize halibut in that hanging locker!

You are fortunate to cruise in a very civilized part of the US coastal waters. Spend more time in the straights of FL so these inspections won't be so unnatural. :D

sunchaser 04-14-2018 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhays (Post 654270)
In WA, every boat must have, and display, a current WA State Registration sticker (much like a license tab). If you are documented, you donít need to display the WA state registration number on the bow. If you donít have that registration number displayed, then presumably you are a documented vessel. If you donít have either, then you are not in compliance with both state and federal law.

Non WA vessels can travel throughout Puget Sound without the Registration sticker. Keeping in mind the time duration.

78puget-trawler 04-14-2018 01:36 PM

I am sure this has been answered previous, but can one refuse the boarding of the CG? I seem to remember reading that one can, but would be ticketed for doing so. I personally dislike the idea of anyone being able to board my boat without some suspicion of illegal activity. Its not that I don't like the CG, I do, but it just rubs me the wrong way to be involuntarily detained even if only for minutes, without probable cause.

markpierce 04-14-2018 02:08 PM

Some states (like California) don't require registration if the vessel is federally documented. If a vessel is documented and resides in a state requiring certification, registration sticker must be displayed but the registration numbers on the hull are prohibited. Federally documented boats must have the documentation number permanently displayed in the vessels interior, and the boat's name and "home" port (place name and state) on the hull's exterior.

markpierce 04-14-2018 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78puget-trawler (Post 654302)
I am sure this has been answered previous, but can one refuse the boarding of the CG? I seem to remember reading that one can, but would be ticketed for doing so. I personally dislike the idea of anyone being able to board my boat without some suspicion of illegal activity. Its not that I don't like the CG, I do, but it just rubs me the wrong way to be involuntarily detained even if only for minutes, without probable cause.

Small USCG boats are typically armed with a machine gun, automatic rifle, shotgun, and pistols so they have the potential to dish out harm if they insist on boarding. If weather/sea conditions warrant however, one could plead that it would be unsafe at the current time and place for a boarding.

wwestman 04-14-2018 02:17 PM

Refusing boarding
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 78puget-trawler (Post 654302)
I am sure this has been answered previous, but can one refuse the boarding of the CG? I seem to remember reading that one can, but would be ticketed for doing so. I personally dislike the idea of anyone being able to board my boat without some suspicion of illegal activity. Its not that I don't like the CG, I do, but it just rubs me the wrong way to be involuntarily detained even if only for minutes, without probable cause.

The short answer is NO. Since the founding of the Revenue Service (now US Customs) you cannot refuse boarding if you are in US waters. USCG officers are considered Customs officers by regulation. This has been challenged many times all the way to the Supreme Court and has been upheld every time. Though the results can be funny when someone tries.

78puget-trawler 04-14-2018 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by markpierce (Post 654311)
Small USCG boats are typically armed with a machine gun, automatic rifle, shotgun, and pistols so they have the potential to dish out harm if they insist on boarding. If weather/sea conditions warrant however, one could plead that it would be unsafe at the current time and place for a boarding.

Not a very useful answer...:rolleyes:

MichaelB1969 04-14-2018 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldDan1943 (Post 654220)
Apply for the update to your documentation NOW. It will show it was an honest oversight on your part and you quickly corrected it.
Thank them for pointing out this discrepancy.
That's the best you can do.



Thanks, that's exactly what I did. Went online last night and renewed.

78puget-trawler 04-14-2018 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wwestman (Post 654313)
The short answer is NO. Since the founding of the Revenue Service (now US Customs) you cannot refuse boarding if you are in US waters. USCG officers are considered Customs officers by regulation. This has been challenged many times all the way to the Supreme Court and has been upheld every time. Though the results can be funny when someone tries.

That was my understanding as well, but as I said, I believe I have read that one could actually take a ticket and refuse a boarding. I will have to look it up again. Without probable cause no other law enforcement has such authority to invade the private premises of a citizen, ( to my knowledge), without probable cause or a warrant for which probable cause must be shown to be granted. And no not playing "sea lawyer".

O C Diver 04-14-2018 02:52 PM

Don't refuse a boarding party. However, you can request to move to a safer location. If you're in a narrow channel or a high traffic area, my experience has been that they will let you move to a safer location. They have also let me put out my large hoizontal fender on the stern quarter as the swim platform is there only safe point of access. Guess they respect the shiny boat.

Something that will make the situation easier. If you have grey hair take your hat off. When they first come along side, I have the pilothouse door open and they see an old grey haired geezer. Imo, a positive polite respectful attitude from an old grey haired geezer makes a big difference.

Ted

psneeld 04-14-2018 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78puget-trawler (Post 654322)
That was my understanding as well, but as I said, I believe I have read that one could actually take a ticket and refuse a boarding. I will have to look it up again. Without probable cause no other law enforcement has such authority to invade the private premises of a citizen, ( to my knowledge), without probable cause or a warrant for which probable cause must be shown to be granted. And no not playing "sea lawyer".

because the USCG knows it is a coveted responsibility it is taken very seriously in house.

any report of a poor boarding is dealt with swiftly.

way more bad repirts of locals than USCG from the boating community if you can believe anything posted, in letters to editors, in mag articles, etc, etc....

it may change though for recreational boaters someday as nowvcars and motorhomes (especially if parked and declared a residence...hence open liquor OK ..but not in car) seem to be falling into the no warrantless search category.

O C Diver 04-14-2018 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldDan1943 (Post 654255)
NOW, that is non-PC and can get you a trip to the dock, further inspection and a cavity search by a huge male coastguardsman.

Excuse me, I am a professional. The object is to make her blush and get a few chuckles from the others. It's like petting a rottweiler, you better know what you're doing and don't screw up. If they bare their teeth or put a hand on their sidearm, stop.

Ted

MichaelB1969 04-14-2018 03:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
[ATTACH]utqui[bATTACH] Photo of the USCG boat.

78puget-trawler 04-14-2018 03:42 PM

I have never been boarded but if and when I am, I think just for the purposes of clarity, I will ask them before they board if I can decline, nicely of course, and see what they say and how they react.

78puget-trawler 04-14-2018 03:55 PM

board and inspect vessels, probable cause or not.Plainly stated, when it comes to Coast Guard boarding, you don’t have any rights. As stated by Capt. Rasicott and CDR Cunningham in their article found in Proceedings, Summer 2009; “There are two main ways to board a vessel – either with permission, or without.”
Vessel operators should know that to refuse permission for Coast Guard personnel to board may subject them to a penalty of $500. Forcibly resisting is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.


This is what I was referring to, the implication that one could refuse and pay a fine. If you think about it, unless the CG is willing to physically enforce their authority, knowing they have no probable cause, would they? I imagine its one of those things that may have a different outcome depending on the specific situation and that some officers might just say, "well, bye". Others might very well say, here we come. Mind you I am not advocating refusal, its just not going to be a comfortable thing to do, but in theory, per the above, it implies that refusal is an option, however poor a choice it might be.
https://mblb.com/admiralty-maritime/...s-coast-guard/

siestakey 04-14-2018 03:55 PM

We have 2 coast guard reserves in our general area so on the weekends lots of vessels get boarded. In the past 6 years I have been boarded twice the last time they asked me to bring it back to idle, I reminded them we were in a tight channel by a shifting sandbar with channel markers that often get moved 2-3 times a month. The radio operator thanked me and said maintain a safe speed and we board. Also each time with me they asked do you have any firearms on board 2nd time I did they had the admiral lay it out on the rear deck and go back up to the flybridge before they boarded

psneeld 04-14-2018 04:26 PM

They will come aboad if you say no.... refusal is their option, not yours....they dont need your permission....they will use every trick without endsngering life or limb. They can fire warning shots across your bow, shoulder your boat, drop prop fouling lines in front of you...have seen it all.

from the link provided.... "and use all necessary force to compel compliance . . .”

Heck, they jumped aboard my trawler near Charleston and I dodnt know it till tbey came in the door. Exciting but BFD.

If you refuse, you argue and not do as instructed, maybe tbe $500 fine, maybe more. Evade or make hazardous and you might get tbe big fine.

FoxtrotCharlie 04-14-2018 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by O C Diver (Post 654324)
Don't refuse a boarding party. However, you can request to move to a safer location. If you're in a narrow channel or a high traffic area, my experience has been that they will let you move to a safer location. They have also let me put out my large hoizontal fender on the stern quarter as the swim platform is there only safe point of access. Guess they respect the shiny boat.

Something that will make the situation easier. If you have grey hair take your hat off. When they first come along side, I have the pilothouse door open and they see an old grey haired geezer. Imo, a positive polite respectful attitude from an old grey haired geezer makes a big difference.

Ted

Would a bald head, but grey beard suffice:whistling::whistling:

wwestman 04-14-2018 04:50 PM

Probable Cause does not even enter into the equation. Over 200 years of US law and many centuries of maritime history are on their side. If they had probable cause they would not even pause to let you know what is about to happen, all of a sudden they would be all over your boat. When it is a routine boarding they are generally polite, with probable cause, polite is left in the office.

The part about the fine is just so that you will know that using the word "NO" will cost you $500, they will still board you even though you told them "no".

Group9 04-14-2018 05:07 PM

We were stopped on our dinghy in Fort Myers by the mooring field at night right as we pulled away from the dinghy dock. We had running lights and everything else, and got one of the attaboy papers from them.

The strange thing, was watching unlighted dinghies going by and giving them a wide berth, and being ignored. I wondered if they didn't stop us so as to prove their boss wrong or something, "Hey, we stopped a dinghy, they had everything. Do we have to keep stopping them?" :facepalm:

O C Diver 04-14-2018 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 654348)
Heck, they jumped aboard my trawler near Charleston and I dodnt know it till tbey came in the door. Exciting but BFD.

Guess they remember the trouble makers. :rolleyes:

Ted

psneeld 04-14-2018 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by O C Diver (Post 654369)
Guess they remember the trouble makers. :rolleyes:

Ted

Yeah, but a boat with a few nice bits of USCG. memoribilia turns the boarding into a war story fest more than anything, but yes the checklist still gets done.... :)

siestakey 04-14-2018 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 654375)
Yeah, but a boat with a few nice bits of USCG. memoribilia turns the boarding into a war story fest more than anything, but yes the checklist still gets done.... :)

I heard a story from a friend could be some truth to it. He has a 100' broward they were about to board and another friend of ours retired E9 coastie went to the swim platform with no shirt on and his master chief tatoo showing. the boarding boat just left

FoxtrotCharlie 04-14-2018 05:22 PM

Might I assume 'shirt'

OldDan1943 04-14-2018 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FoxtrotCharlie (Post 654381)
Might I assume 'shirt'

LOL

Another, "Thank you spell check" moment.

siestakey 04-14-2018 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FoxtrotCharlie (Post 654381)
Might I assume 'shirt'

I keep loosing those Rs

ssobol 04-14-2018 06:37 PM

Refusing a boarding request could be grounds for "probable cause". Happens with the local LEOs if you refuse the request to let them search your car.

FlyWright 04-14-2018 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 654375)
Yeah, but a boat with a few nice bits of USCG. memoribilia turns the boarding into a war story fest more than anything, but yes the checklist still gets done.... :)

Were these guys you worked with or knew you from the USCG? Sounds like a great prank on a former colleague to me...

Quote:

Originally Posted by siestakey (Post 654387)
I keep loosing those Rs

You's guys crack me up! :D :rofl:

Comodave 04-14-2018 08:01 PM

I find that when dealing with LEOs the best thing I can do is act very politely and answer with yes sir or no sir. They have a tough job that gets them a lot of crap so I donít add to it. Not saying that I kiss their ass, just be very polite. I was stopped once in a wildcat offroading area. Officer had a real attitude from the start, I was polite and he came around to being nice in return. As we were finishing up he told me I was the first person to be nice to him. He said he usually gave the people many citations and towed their vehicles. He gave me a $10 citation and said have a nice day. Coast Guard are just the same, give them crap and they will return the favor. Treat them with respect and it will come back to you. I deal with CG personnel every week, they are generally extraordinarily nice people who signed up to help people out. Remember you may not like the laws and policies but the local boarding officer did not develop the laws and policies they are just tasked with enforcing them. Donít take it out on the boarding officer, take the law or policy you donít like up with your representatives.

Blissboat 04-14-2018 08:13 PM

What Comodave said.

Two USCG boardings in the past thirty-five years. Both routine were compliance inspections. I behaved the same way both boarding crews behaved, politely and professionally. I thanked the Coasties for doing what they do, which I mean sincerely. If anyone in the USCG is reading this - thanks again!

psneeld 04-14-2018 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FlyWright (Post 654405)
Were these guys you worked with or knew you from the USCG? Sounds like a great prank on a former colleague to me...



You's guys crack me up! :D :rofl:

no.... no one I worked with....

I have been stopped a long way from home waters and the boarding crews were probably not even in the 1st grade when I retired.... :)

but once they notice the few coastie things around, the conversation tuns to places and jobs we all have been while going through their boarding form.

JustBob 04-14-2018 08:47 PM

Can they refuse them cute pink booties I'm going to give them to wear over their boots?

jimisbell 04-14-2018 09:22 PM

In 40 years including two trips from FL to TX in the ICW, I have been boarded only once and I dont even remember the details so it must have not been an event....or my memory is fading at 82 years of age. My only concern was the safety of the one person that came aboard rather clumsily. They gave me a sticker I put in the starboard window of the pilothouse that was supposed to work on the CG like a cross works on vampires. Never got boarded again so I guess it works.

dhays 04-14-2018 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sunchaser (Post 654300)
Non WA vessels can travel throughout Puget Sound without the Registration sticker. Keeping in mind the time duration.



Yup, I was just thinking of WA state boats.

dhays 04-14-2018 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78puget-trawler (Post 654322)
That was my understanding as well, but as I said, I believe I have read that one could actually take a ticket and refuse a boarding. I will have to look it up again. Without probable cause no other law enforcement has such authority to invade the private premises of a citizen, ( to my knowledge), without probable cause or a warrant for which probable cause must be shown to be granted. And no not playing "sea lawyer".


My understanding is that the USCG can do a search of your vessel in US waters at any time they feel it is warranted. You can try and refuse, but the potential penalties/consequences could be bad.

You may not like the idea of being boarded at will, but that is the way the law has been interpreted. It has been that way for over 200 years and wonít change any time soon. It isnít the individual coasties who wrote the law, and in most cases they are doing their best to carry out their duty.

AusCan 04-14-2018 09:50 PM

Its obviously a different situation here in Australia. I don't know if the coast guard boards any private vehicles. I've never heard of it happening.

We do have occasional inspections by Fisheries Dept boats for undersize fish, and water police for DUI breath testing. I had the police boat pull alongside me for breath-testing on Australia Day. I was sailing at the time so couldn't immediately stop like most power boats. I just ignored him for a while and he eventually decided it was all too hard and moved on.

78puget-trawler 04-14-2018 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhays (Post 654458)
My understanding is that the USCG can do a search of your vessel in US waters at any time they feel it is warranted. You can try and refuse, but the potential penalties/consequences could be bad.

You may not like the idea of being boarded at will, but that is the way the law has been interpreted. It has been that way for over 200 years and wonít change any time soon. It isnít the individual coasties who wrote the law, and in most cases they are doing their best to carry out their duty.

Yah, understand all that, just the principle of the whole thing that bothers me I guess, the "anytime THEY feel its warranted" thing. There is no criteria they must meet, none. All other LE must have some reason for doing something and where your home is concerned, no warrant no entry unless invited or obvious probable cause. CG needs ZERO reason to board ANY boat for ANY reason at ANY TIME THEY CHOOSE. Yes, it has been adjudicated thus. Is it right? I don't think so, and I doubt many people would say that it is right or a good idea, but it is apparently an acceptable situation since no real effort has ever been made to change it. Ones rights should not evaporate at waters edge.

jimisbell 04-14-2018 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 78puget-trawler (Post 654465)
Yah, understand all that, just the principle of the whole thing that bothers me I guess, the "anytime THEY feel its warranted" thing. There is no criteria they must meet, none. All other LE must have some reason for doing something and where your home is concerned, no warrant no entry unless invited or obvious probable cause. CG needs ZERO reason to board ANY boat for ANY reason at ANY TIME THEY CHOOSE. Yes, it has been adjudicated thus. Is it right? I don't think so, and I doubt many people would say that it is right or a good idea, but it is apparently an acceptable situation since no real effort has ever been made to change it. Ones rights should not evaporate at waters edge.

I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.

Benthic2 04-14-2018 10:21 PM

I have been boarded many times, only once with cause though. I used to take a small bow rider to a popular boating beach where there was rampant alcohol and stupidity. In every instance the USCG was impeccably polite and courteous, even when I blatantly blew through a no wake zone at 30 knots. ( a monster storm cell approached and I was about 4 miles from the boat ramp.). In every instance they would make conversation with my kids, tell me that I was much better equipped than most 17 foot boats, and send me on my way. Even when I deserved a citation, they just made me wait in the freezing rain for a while to teach me a lesson, and let me go with a warning.

Alaskan Sea-Duction 04-14-2018 10:26 PM

So there is one thing you can do to avoid boarding by the USCG. Take the time and have your boat inspected in advance and then put that nice "Boat US" sticker on your port side window. File the paperwork with your other important papers.

This sticker saved my 3 boarding in the past. One in the San Juans and 2 in Alaska. They see the sticker and wave you on.

Last year Crusty and I almost got boarded on the dinghy. They wanted to see PFDs and a fire extinguisher. This year I had the dink inspected too.

I do challenge the Aux when they board my boat to do the safety check. Things like the "Y" valve MUST be locked or tied off (not true) or I must have a bell on my vessel or I must have a white light on my bridge.

As far as LEOs, my boat is my home and they need probable cause. I have been asked by LEOs if they could board. I ask what is the PC? They state a "safety inspection" which I instruct them to look at the sticker on the port window. I have denied boarding and once they see the sticker they move on.

BandB 04-14-2018 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donna (Post 654206)
Hmm, my sticker actually came with the document. Iím heading over now, so Iíll check it out.

No, your sticker came with your Florida registration.

BandB 04-14-2018 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimisbell (Post 654472)
I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.

Understand that Texas law isn't applicable in the situation being discussed, at all.

BandB 04-14-2018 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction (Post 654474)
So there is one thing you can do to avoid boarding by the USCG. Take the time and have your boat inspected in advance and then put that nice "Boat US" sticker on your port side window. File the paperwork with your other important papers.

I have found in talking to people along the way and CG officers that placing value on a USCG inspection varies widely by officer and by location. I've found it carries virtually zero value in South Florida. Now, boarding in South Florida is an entirely different game. While some is done for routine inspection, the real interests are smuggling of people, drugs and firearms.

As to earlier conversation about refusing boarding, don't even thing about objecting or questioning. The moment you throw up a red flag, you're going to get a thorough inspection. I've heard of a drunk passenger aboard trying to play "highway" attorney on a boat and start talking non-existent laws. The one incident I'm aware of the passenger was arrested and every inch of the boat was inspected plus the boat ticketed for every possible violation, regardless of how minor. The officers deserve respect and they'll demand it. If any don't show worthy of respect deal with that another time through appropriate channels. We have been stopped once in coastal waters or offshore. We were stopped 4 times on the Great Lakes and I do believe it was all bikini induced, lengthy talk three times and one boarding.

OldDan1943 04-15-2018 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BandB (Post 654487)
No, your sticker came with your Florida registration.

That is your FL tax sticker and has nothing to do with Federal Documentation of a vessel.

AlaskaProf 04-15-2018 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by psneeld (Post 654375)
Yeah, but a boat with a few nice bits of USCG. memoribilia turns the boarding into a war story fest more than anything, but yes the checklist still gets done.... :)

Funny you should mention: When I got boarded last year one of the party noticed the coast guard book on my shelf and commented favorably so I introduced him to the author, a high school classmate who happened to be aboard for a couple weeks.

markpierce 04-15-2018 01:16 AM

Wouldn't be surprised if government officials monitor boating threads to select boardings of particular boats.

markpierce 04-15-2018 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimisbell (Post 654472)
I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.

Boatwise, that attitude will cause you problems.

BruceK 04-15-2018 01:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimisbell (Post 654472)
I agree completely with that. Here in Texas the "Castle Law" that allows you to defend your Castle with a gun has been upheld for boats. If your boat is a castle and your car is a castle and your house is your castle then the search of any should have the same rules.

Isn`t one purpose of being armed to defend yourself against Govt? CG are an arm of Govt. Go for it!;) Wish I was there to see it pan out.

OldDan1943 04-15-2018 01:26 AM

Who you gonna call when you are sinking, disabled in the water or need an armed response?
Play nice and be respectful.


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