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Coast Guard at work


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The coasties were out in a chopper this morning searching around Southport and the Sheepscot. Chatter over the radio was a capsized boat, with a body in the water,going from Boothbay to Robinhood. 
 

Maybe 90 minutes after I saw the helicopter there was word that boat and person were okay. 
 

good on ‘em.  

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The U.S. Coastguard is a truly remarkable organization - you really get your moneys worth from them.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

The U.S. Coastguard is a truly remarkable organization - you really get your moneys worth from them.

They are one of the few examples where I don’t mind seeing my tax dollars at work!  

B8694113-503B-4D3D-BF87-37197E0864A1.jpeg

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On 10/8/2021 at 6:48 PM, Monkey said:

They are one of the few examples where I don’t mind seeing my tax dollars at work!  

B8694113-503B-4D3D-BF87-37197E0864A1.jpeg

Except when they pull up next to you in a 35' patrol boat when you are under spinnaker and they say they want to board and do  a safety inspection.  After being stoped once and hearing their questions I know to say we have a sick person aboard with covid symptons.  They quickly go into a huddle and then come back with ok and let you sail away.

 

 

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4 hours ago, robalex117 said:

Except when they pull up next to you in a 35' patrol boat when you are under spinnaker and they say they want to board and do  a safety inspection.  After being stoped once and hearing their questions I know to say we have a sick person aboard with covid symptons.  They quickly go into a huddle and then come back with ok and let you sail away.

 

 

I can certainly understand how different ports would have different experiences. Smuggling isn’t exactly a problem where I’m from.  Our station is far more focused on rescue than law enforcement.  We also maintain a friendly relationship between our club and the local station.  They know our rules not only meet, but exceed their requirements, and they trust us to enforce it.  

 

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10 hours ago, robalex117 said:

Except when they pull up next to you in a 35' patrol boat when you are under spinnaker and they say they want to board and do  a safety inspection.  After being stoped once and hearing their questions I know to say we have a sick person aboard with covid symptons.  They quickly go into a huddle and then come back with ok and let you sail away.

 

 

Had that happen to me some 35 years ago.  They pulled up on the windward side of the boat for openers.  By the time they got on board, tripping over Genoa and spinnaker sheets, did their safety inspection, they distracted and slowed us down enough that it cost us a podium finish in a 25 miles race. 

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13 hours ago, Monkey said:

I can certainly understand how different ports would have different experiences. Smuggling isn’t exactly a problem where I’m from.  Our station is far more focused on rescue than law enforcement.  We also maintain a friendly relationship between our club and the local station.  They know our rules not only meet, but exceed their requirements, and they trust us to enforce it.  

 

Understand.  Around Long Island Sound this has nothing to do with enforcing and catching smugglers.  It has all to do with a waste of tax payers dollars using up their allotted fuel and giving people on the payroll something to do, and the end result is just harassing boaters going about their business.  (I am sure the CG does not believe they are harassing people, they think they are just doing their job and for those coasties on the boat they are doing just that.). But whoever is giving them their orders to go out and do safety checks needs to rethink what these people should be doing.    

Thinking about this some more a police office needs probably cause to stop you I would think that same goes with the CG.  Anybody know anything about that?

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3 hours ago, robalex117 said:

Thinking about this some more a police office needs probably cause to stop you I would think that same goes with the CG.  Anybody know anything about that?

I think you being on the water is the only "probable cause" they need. 

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4 hours ago, robalex117 said:

Understand.  Around Long Island Sound this has nothing to do with enforcing and catching smugglers.  It has all to do with a waste of tax payers dollars using up their allotted fuel and giving people on the payroll something to do, and the end result is just harassing boaters going about their business.  (I am sure the CG does not believe they are harassing people, they think they are just doing their job and for those coasties on the boat they are doing just that.). But whoever is giving them their orders to go out and do safety checks needs to rethink what these people should be doing.    

Thinking about this some more a police office needs probably cause to stop you I would think that same goes with the CG.  Anybody know anything about that?

I did the coastie thing for a long time, so Ill chime in here.

As for point #1 about wasting time and money, Ill just say that the #1 expense is search and rescue (and often recovery). Prevention is far less costly in both dollar figures and lives lost. Prevention is exactly the purpose of safety boardings (I cant tell you the number of times I boarded a small power boat with their boat plug missing...).

 

The musing about police and probable cause is a different ball of wax. Police authority lies almost entirely in the Law Enforcement realm, while the CG is given statute authority to inspect and enforce safety regulations as a matter of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). As such, the CG has authority to board any US flagged vessel, anywhere, at any time. Likewise, they can conduct safety boardings on non-us flagged vessels that are within US territorial seas. Again, these are strictly with safety in mind. Checking for fire, flooding, adequate safety gear, etc. This does not grant automatic authority for a "search" of the vessel without probable cause (ie, cant go digging through lockers, cabinets, etc).

 

Hope that helps clarify a little.

 

-Jay

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10 hours ago, Driftwood47 said:

This does not grant automatic authority for a "search" of the vessel without probable cause (ie, cant go digging through lockers, cabinets, etc).

Everyone I know who has had a "courtesy safety inspection" by the USCG has said that the first thing they do is go through the garbage can. 

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4 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

Everyone I know who has had a "courtesy safety inspection" by the CSCG has said that the first thing they do is go through the garbage can. 

Different priorities in Canada?

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20 hours ago, Driftwood47 said:

I did the coastie thing for a long time, so Ill chime in here.

As for point #1 about wasting time and money, Ill just say that the #1 expense is search and rescue (and often recovery). Prevention is far less costly in both dollar figures and lives lost. Prevention is exactly the purpose of safety boardings (I cant tell you the number of times I boarded a small power boat with their boat plug missing...).

 

The musing about police and probable cause is a different ball of wax. Police authority lies almost entirely in the Law Enforcement realm, while the CG is given statute authority to inspect and enforce safety regulations as a matter of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). As such, the CG has authority to board any US flagged vessel, anywhere, at any time. Likewise, they can conduct safety boardings on non-us flagged vessels that are within US territorial seas. Again, these are strictly with safety in mind. Checking for fire, flooding, adequate safety gear, etc. This does not grant automatic authority for a "search" of the vessel without probable cause (ie, cant go digging through lockers, cabinets, etc).

 

Hope that helps clarify a little.

 

-Jay

The USCG got sued over their unlimited boarding rights and won the case - back in about 1797! I think it was one of the very first Supreme Court cases. They can board you every day and search every part of your boat with no probable cause anyplace on the planet, assuming you are USA flagged.

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2 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

The USCG got sued over their unlimited boarding rights and won the case - back in about 1797! I think it was one of the very first Supreme Court cases. They can board you every day and search every part of your boat with no probable cause anyplace on the planet, assuming you are USA flagged.

The "every part of your boat" bit is incorrect. There is no lawful ability for the CG to go through anything where a "reasonable expectation of privacy" exists without PC. Common spaces, sure. Garbage cans? Absolutely. Open your lockers for funsies? No. "Unlimited boarding rights" is a loose and dangerous term. Yes, anywhere at any time you can be boarded by the USCG if you are US flagged. For a safety inspection, not a full blown search. The CG wears many hats, and those hats often overlap, but they cant go from a safety boarding to digging through your backpack without PC.

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31 minutes ago, Driftwood47 said:

The "every part of your boat" bit is incorrect. There is no lawful ability for the CG to go through anything where a "reasonable expectation of privacy" exists without PC. Common spaces, sure. Garbage cans? Absolutely. Open your lockers for funsies? No. "Unlimited boarding rights" is a loose and dangerous term. Yes, anywhere at any time you can be boarded by the USCG if you are US flagged. For a safety inspection, not a full blown search. The CG wears many hats, and those hats often overlap, but they cant go from a safety boarding to digging through your backpack without PC.

Are you SURE? The 1797 case was nothing to do with safety inspections, they were looking for smugglers back then, which most certainly involved searching for non-safety stuff.

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On 10/13/2021 at 12:00 AM, jerseyguy said:

Had that happen to me some 35 years ago.  They pulled up on the windward side of the boat for openers.  By the time they got on board, tripping over Genoa and spinnaker sheets, did their safety inspection, they distracted and slowed us down enough that it cost us a podium finish in a 25 miles race. 

why not mark down the time they appear and when they leave and ask for redress, (if that's the correct term)  ,

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43 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Are you SURE? The 1797 case was nothing to do with safety inspections, they were looking for smugglers back then, which most certainly involved searching for non-safety stuff.

I am 100% positive it requires PC to violate the "reasonable expectation of privacy" on a standard boarding.

There ARE multiple layers however to targeted LE boardings that often come with pre-existing PC due to various factors, bi-lateral agreements, etc. There's a whole lot "other" factors there, but when we are talking rolling up on a random boat, you're looking at a safety inspection where the Boarding Officer must abide by PC and "reasonable expectation of privacy".

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15 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

why not mark down the time they appear and when they leave and ask for redress, (if that's the correct term)  ,

Not within the scope of things that could entitle you to redress.  No improper actions, injuries or damage and the boat did not stop to give help.

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A more recent supreme court ruling mirrors what you speak of, but DOES include the PC caveat:

 

US vs LEE 1927

On May 31, 1927, Justice Louis Brandeis delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court. The Court held the Coast Guard has authority to visit, search and seize an American vessel on the high seas beyond the twelve-mile limit when probable cause exists to believe that U.S. laws are being violated; that it has authority also to arrest persons on such vessel when there is reason to believe those persons are engaged in committing a felony.[5] The Court also held that the use of a searchlight does not constitute a search and thus does not warrant Fourth Amendment protections because the use of a searchlight is comparable to the use of binoculars.

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59 minutes ago, Tax Man said:

Not within the scope of things that could entitle you to redress.  No improper actions, injuries or damage and the boat did not stop to give help.

well maybe it's something that should be added...     given that it may be an occurrence during a race and that the sailing associations shouldn't encourage behavior detrimental to the CG's job.

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I think that would be a pretty rare occurance. Still, sometimes we end up having to dodge freighters in our races. We ended up taking 3rd or 4th in a race this year when we had to take the stern of a biggun before rounding the mark. We were in first to that point... it happens.

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Generally, yes. The CG tends to not board boats that have had inspections/boardings recently.

Keep in mind though, that the Aux performs "courtesy inspections" so while the checklist is the same, it wont necessarily keep you from getting a second look from the orange and blue.

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On 10/14/2021 at 12:10 PM, Driftwood47 said:

I am 100% positive it requires PC to violate the "reasonable expectation of privacy" on a standard boarding.

There ARE multiple layers however to targeted LE boardings that often come with pre-existing PC due to various factors, bi-lateral agreements, etc. There's a whole lot "other" factors there, but when we are talking rolling up on a random boat, you're looking at a safety inspection where the Boarding Officer must abide by PC and "reasonable expectation of privacy".

14 USC 89 and cases construing it would seem to say otherwise

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