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rslifkin 11-08-2019 05:42 PM

The dog makes the unannounced boarding worse. I know my dog would not react well to a strange dog suddenly appearing in his space. He wouldn't actually hurt the other dog, but there would certainly be some barking and aggression. I'd be concerned about him ending up hurt or "neutralized" before I could grab him.

SoWhat 11-08-2019 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by DDW (Post 818688)
On the Constitutional question, has the boarding of recreational boats ever been tested at the US Supreme Court? Lots of cases involving suppression of evidence in criminal cases, or boarding commercial boats for revenue collection. Some tests at the district court level have failed even on those. Haven't found a reference to specifically boarding a recreational boat for a "safety check" or other fishing expedition.

Yes, SCOTUS has addressed it, although circuit court decisions are far more numerous and they tend to support USCG. Boarding is lawful. A stem to stern search is "it depends" If boarding officer who is conducting safety or documentation stop determines probable cause exists to suspect violation of law, game on.

GFC 11-08-2019 06:04 PM

Want to get your boarding done quickly and courteously? "Yes Sir, No Sir."

And the reason they may come up toward your stern as they approach--they can more easily see if people on board are tossing things overboard.

I don't know why some get their chests all puffed out and their feathers ruffled over a boarding? Is the boarding a challenge to your manliness?

Go with the flow, be polite and nice to them. It doesn't cost you a thing to do that and it will pay big dividends.

BruceK 11-08-2019 06:11 PM

It`s less a question of "Can they do it?" and more a question of "Should they do it?". Seems to me it`s fraught with risk generated by surprise, from gunfight to dogfight.

RT Firefly 11-08-2019 06:24 PM

Mr. BK. Hardly a surprise on the water while underway or anchored. It's not as if the authorities suddenly appear. IF a proper watch, as mentioned above, is maintained one will most definitely know of their presence in proximity to one's vessel.

A nighttime boarding OTOH is a completely different scenario where surprise might lead to potentially deadly consequences. Mr. rs raises a valid point regarding a dog(s).

diver dave 11-08-2019 06:35 PM

CBP surprised us in the wee hours one time. Sitting miles offshore with nav lights off. They pulled to our port side and put a spotlight on their marked hullsides. Then got closer and proceeded with questions from 40 feet away. Just another good reason to run radar.

rsn48 11-08-2019 07:51 PM

So you showed them how important you are for their lack of obiescance to some guy with a green Tshirt that says "Security".

Sometimes I'm a little slow so bear with me. I have one question, why would a guy or gal be wearing a T SHIRT in the WINTER Olympics, and why green? Clearly I missed all the people standing around in the green T shirts. Can you help me out and point out where they were?

The security was given amazingly good gear as many of them had to stand around in not great weather. Unfortunately for me and others who worked the venues in the Lower Mainland and not in Whistler, the gear was unbearably warm as during our "winter" olympics, the flowers were blooming. I would have loved to had those green T shirts you mentioned.

OldDan1943 11-08-2019 07:55 PM

I offered my boat as a training exercise to the local police. The officer thanked me and told me the dogs were too busy doing real searches. LOL

If the USCG wishes to board me, I welcome them for these same people will be the ones who come find me and rescue me if necessary. Not too sure how I would react to a night time announced visit especially at night.

Bigsfish 11-08-2019 08:05 PM

Scott in your vast experience have you ever known a boarding party to use a flash-bang? The chance of fire is great, at least in houses.

Alaskan Sea-Duction 11-08-2019 08:37 PM


Originally Posted by localboy (Post 818637)
The U.S. Coast Guard Boarding Policy:

Title 14 section 89 of the United States Code authorizes the U.S. Coast Guard to board vessels subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, anytime, any place upon the high seas and upon any waterway over which the United States has jurisdiction, to make inquires, examinations, inspections, searches, seizures, and arrests. The U.S. Coast Guard does not require a warrant to conduct search, seizures, arrests over any United States Waterway or high seas. The U.S. Coast Guard also have full legal law enforcement power on any land under the control of the United States, as needed to complete any mission.

Anywhere, any time......that says it all


Originally Posted by localboy (Post 818639)
The provision I posted above covers the USCG. Local laws would pertain to local LE, like Sheriff's Office etc.


Originally Posted by GFC (Post 818704)
Want to get your boarding done quickly and courteously? "Yes Sir, No Sir."
Go with the flow, be polite and nice to them. It doesn't cost you a thing to do that and it will pay big dividends.

Good advice, but my question is the civilian LEO has different rules in place, while the USCG and CBP has the ABSOLUTE right to board you, were local LEO may not have that absolute right.


Originally Posted by diver dave (Post 818713)
Just another good reason to run radar.

Good Point.

So here is a question for all you TF recliner lawyers:

Would State or local LEO have authority outside the 3 nautical mile line?

psneeld 11-08-2019 09:08 PM


Originally Posted by Bigsfish (Post 818750)
Scott in your vast experience have you ever known a boarding party to use a flash-bang? The chance of fire is great, at least in houses. I can't say I have ever heard of a flash bang being used by the USCG...that's because most boardings are routine and the targeted vessels really don't pose a threat

The boarding teams are trained to observe what looks routine and what doesn't.

State jurisdiction ends at 3 miles.....there may be a few agreements that allow very limited enforcement out further...

Probably similar to National waters out to 12...but EEZ out to 200.

Bigsfish 11-08-2019 09:43 PM

Thanks. We have seen several fires caused by flash bangs, I would imagine on a wood boat it could be a disaster.

markpierce 11-09-2019 01:44 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Never been boarded. Seems they have more important tasks.

Pcpete 11-09-2019 01:58 AM

I was boarded or had floating boat to boat conversations with CBP, the Washington State fish cops and USGG personnel several times with our prior boat. Every time everyone was respectful and polite, except one fish cop who was yelling at me about fending off their boat to prevent damage to either. The most bizarre stop was from CBP as l was headed into Canada and probably within a mile of the boarder running at 25kn. Flat water, beautiful day, and I hear a beep beep from my starboard stern. This guy was running along side less than two feet from the side of my boat at 25kn! To be fair, I had been keeping an eye on an old bridge deck boat who crossed in front of me, from the port side, causing me to make a slight course correction to avoid a collision. I waved that I would comply and slowed to a stop and explained about the other craft having my attention. I answered the usual and obvious questions and they decided I was harmless.
The last time we were boarded, it was by the USCG, and as they approached the noncom in charge ask if I had and weapons on board. I replied “not yet” and I made a point of looking at his side arm. It took a couple of times until he got it and then I don’t think he knew whether to laugh or try to stay serious. We had a good experience from there.
I have the deepest regard for LE and all of our Military and respect the job they do for us. However, anyone who sneaks aboard in the middle of the night is going to hear me yelling for identity.

markpierce 11-09-2019 02:14 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Perhaps having a slow boat with visible overboard recovery equipment would reduce USCG inquiry?

catalinajack 11-09-2019 06:28 AM

That is precisely what I did when boarded. We were directed by radio to heave to for a boarding. I immediately reduced speed to stearage way and asked for further instructions. I was told to go to idle speed on autopilot. I also informed the CG that they would find a shotgun on the bed in the owner's cabin. They were welcomed aboard with politeness and cooperation. I answered all of their questions. All went well.

Originally Posted by OldDan1943 (Post 818647)
Do not leave the helm unless directed to move.
TELL them where the gun/s are located. Dont offer to help or show them.
Have your ship's papers available and TELL them where they are.
Answer all questions directly w/o hesitation.
Thank them and might want to add, be safe.
SMILE I know of one guy who offered to make them some sandwiches, they accepted.

Mako 11-09-2019 08:35 AM


Originally Posted by diver dave (Post 818713)
CBP surprised us in the wee hours one time. Sitting miles offshore with nav lights off.


Gordon J 11-09-2019 09:12 AM

Not a peep

Originally Posted by Arc (Post 818376)
They just boarded with out a word spoken ?

I was amazed.

Gordon J 11-09-2019 09:14 AM

From and too

Originally Posted by BandB (Post 818379)
Where were you going from and where to?

We had left a friend's house in Jacksonville and were headed to Palm coadt enroute to Stuart.

Gordon J 11-09-2019 09:16 AM


Originally Posted by menzies (Post 818380)
Hmmm, did you ask them about not hailing?

And did you notice CG personnel with them?

I would follow up with a courteous question to Commander CG Station JAX (Mayport). While they were not under his command I would like to hear what he says.

Did you get any post inspection documentation?

No post inspection documentation. No coastguard personnel. Only sheriffs deputies and customs and emigration.

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