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Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

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Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Old 05-24-2007, 12:56 PM
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Default Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Took the day off and went looking for stripers with a buddy yesterday.

We were about mid-sound in LIS setting up a tube and worm troll when the RIB approached very slowly and then put the blue lights on.

They asked the last time that I had been boarded and I responded that I never had been. Then he said they were going to board me. As I type this I do not recall if he said he was going to board or if he asked me if he could board. (does he need my permission?)

In any event, nice young guys 20s out of Eaton's Neck, LI. 2 guys come aboard one with a little computer, not a lap top but bigger than a Treo. One looks the registration and the other goes through life jackets, suggests that the throwable preserver be out in the open and not in the storage area. Looks at fire extinguisher and flares, Has me blow the horn.

My flares were out of date.

The he says I see the open beers (we didn't try to hide them) not a problem you can drink all you want to responsibly, .08 being the federal limit and he does not feel the need to test me. He also says that you can drink all you want irresponsibly while at anchor, but the second you are at the helm you had better be below .08.

They were very polite and respectful. At the end of the inspection may be it took ten minutes I get a written report of the boarding so that hopefully next time I do not have to be boarded again.

After it was over I forgot to Thank them for being out there for us when we need them.

They were good guys and I bet they are going to be busy this weekend.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

My experiences with USCG boardings have been like yours - businesslike crews, but professional, competent, and polite.

Some of the state and local guys - ehhhhhh, not so much.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Same here...been borded a few times this year...never a problem. I always pull out the form they gave me the first time with my registration and they usually just untie and take off at that point. Always nice though.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Same here, always polite and professional.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

When I was in we were told not to ask "Permission to come aboard" because what would happen if they said "no".
Old 05-24-2007, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

I would not have refused, but I thought about it today as I was posting that I do not believe they asked, they said they were coming aboard. I think this has been discussed before and the USCG does not have to ask. Local authorities do have to ask permssion.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

I was told that the Texas Parks and Wildlife guys will ask if you want a free safety inspection. If you say no, then they basically say that you're getting one anyway and they will nitpick everything they find and write you tickets. If you say sure, then they just point out any insufficiencies and tell you to get them taken care of.

I've never been boarded so I can't confirm that. The one time I thought I was going to be boarded, they skipped my boat for some reason. The did like 6 boats while we were fishing but went right past mine.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Happened to me last year. Same drill. They actually sat with us (wife and son) and enjoyed the NFL playoffs on sattellite radio and chatted for a few minutes. Way better treatment that I ususally get from the state guys.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

The last time I was checked by the Coast Guard, I invited them on board. The person that was doing the talking declined on their behalf. He pointed to his boots and said "we'd rather not step on your nice looking deck in these black soled shoes". They were extremely nice people. I was genuinely appreciative of their having checked my safety gear. I knew I was in compliance, but it was nice to get the confirmation from the authority. The first thing they said when they stopped to inspect me was, "Without reaching for anything, do you have any firearms on board ?" I told them I didn't have any firearms, but that I did have a flare gun pistol.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

This is the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). In my 22 years of boating I have been boarded several times (8/10 times) by the USCG. Most were their typical at the dock courtesy inspection. I always welcome them on board and feel like this is my chance to review all my safety items on board and learn a thing or two from them.

Since 9/11 I had been boarded 2x, once at the doc and last year (summer, off FTL) some 15 miles offshore over a nice patch of sea weed and hundreds of mahi under the boat. We had 3 or 4 lines hocked up when the wanted to come aboard. Mind you I have a 18 footer and between 2 of them and my buddy and I well you can see how crowded it was getting (plus the screaming lines in the water). Any way they looked around for our safety gear and were done in less than 10 min. Before boarding us we did notice that they were boarding other boats too, I had told my buddy they will most likely come to us too perhaps due to security issues. I asked was it related to security issues, and the obvious answer would have been yes, but they would not say so. After they left, we continued our fishing as the fish were hanging at the same area.

BTW, some of their own buddies on their 70/100 footer cutter were fishing too and catching lots of fish.
Salute to the USCG.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

You can take your boat to a coast guard station and have them do a check. They will give you a sticker to place on your boat that is good for a year. When out fishing with the sticker, you won't have to worry about being interrupted for a safety inspection while your fishing.
Old 05-24-2007, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

I've been boarded on several occasions by state and local LE, but I've only been boarded once by the USCG. While the guys were courteous, we had to laugh and question why the heck they boarded us to begin with once they left.

We were southbound on a 70 Hatteras in the ICW around Titusville when they approach us from the south. They hit their lights and came alongside our port and asked if we had been boarded lately to which we replied no.

They then came around to the stern and asked permission to board which was granted. Two came aboard, both young guys, and two more and a dog stayed aboard the RIB.

I have nothing but respect for the USCG but these guys were almost comical. While the owner went below to retrieve requested paperwork, I sat at a table and answered the guy's questions while the Captain kept us headed south. You don't just stop a 70 foot boat in the ICW for an inspection.

He first asked the make of the boat, then asked how to spell Hatteras. Then he asked if it was a houseboat. They never checked anything in terms of PFDs or other required safety equipment, and never entered the engine room or the owner's stateroom which are below the salon to aft. They only went forward of the pilothouse and into my cabin and the other two forward cabins as far as I know as they went alone.

When I asked why they had stopped us, they told me they were stopping boats as just a routine thing that day. It became very obvious they only wanted to see the inside of that Hatteras although there are several boats in that part of Florida which would make the Hatt look like a toy. They sat and chatted a while and we made small talk about the fact one of the guys, the one who didn't know how to spell Hatteras, had family on the east coast of North Carolina. I guess we just happened to be the biggest boat they had come across on that long open stretch of water as there were several boats both ahead and behind us. Oh yeah, we were making about 10 knots.
Old 05-24-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

TN FREEBIRD - 5/24/2007 12:54 PM
When I asked why they had stopped us, they told me they were stopping boats as just a routine thing that day. It became very obvious they only wanted to see the inside of that Hatteras although there are several boats in that part of Florida which would make the Hatt look like a toy. They sat and chatted a while and we made small talk about the fact one of the guys, the one who didn't know how to spell Hatteras, had family on the east coast of North Carolina. I guess we just happened to be the biggest boat they had come across on that long open stretch of water as there were several boats both ahead and behind us. Oh yeah, we were making about 10 knots.
Man- even law enforcement is giving you big boat guys a hard time. You just can't catch a break now, can ya?
Old 05-24-2007, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Boarded twice:
First time in the harbor on my 17'CC. They side tied and asked me where I was going and actually towed me during the inspection as to not delay me in anyway. No issues, nice experience.

Second time, on my friends 38' Bayliner in Avalon. We had just enjoyed a nice dinner and way to many Mai Tai's at a local bar. We were heading back to the boat on our dinghy, we had no nav lights but were not too concerned as we were inside the anchorage. A blacked out boat cut across our bow at 10 knots, we were about to yell some profanities until we realized it was a CG rib....

We were escorted back to our boat, then boarded. They happened to have a LA Sheriff on board, that didn't make us too comfortable as we made our poor attempt at looking sober. It took about 15 minutes, seemed like an hour. After digging through 30 expired flares we finally found 3 that were current and passed not problems. They left with a thank you and that was it.... If that was the Harbor Patrol, we likely could of been looking at a DUI....
Old 05-24-2007, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Not to play devils advocate but how would you feel if every time you got behind the wheel of your car your local police were there to offer a safety inspection and asked to enter your vehicle? Or how about your local fire department interrupting your Saturday cookout to offer a home safety inspection?

While I believe the USCG safety inspection in general is a good thing, I also see it as an intrusion of privacy to a certain degree. We all register our boats so why not require us to have them inspected prior to the season and get rid of these boardings?

Old 05-24-2007, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

I was boarder one time in MHC. Very nice professional young men.

THTer Overcurrent inspects my boat every year and gives me a USCG Auxiliary sticker. The last time the USCG approached, they saw the sticker and said, "Good job captain" and went along their way.

I appreciate these folks a ton!!
Old 05-24-2007, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Captain Stabbin - 5/24/2007 1:04 PM

TN FREEBIRD - 5/24/2007 12:54 PM
When I asked why they had stopped us, they told me they were stopping boats as just a routine thing that day. It became very obvious they only wanted to see the inside of that Hatteras although there are several boats in that part of Florida which would make the Hatt look like a toy. They sat and chatted a while and we made small talk about the fact one of the guys, the one who didn't know how to spell Hatteras, had family on the east coast of North Carolina. I guess we just happened to be the biggest boat they had come across on that long open stretch of water as there were several boats both ahead and behind us. Oh yeah, we were making about 10 knots.
Man- even law enforcement is giving you big boat guys a hard time. You just can't catch a break now, can ya?
Just stating facts of my experience with a USCG inspection there "Captain".

Truth is, law enforcement rarely stop larger boats unless they are obviously in violation of some law or being operated in a wreckless or suspicioius manner. They are generally owned/operated by experienced people who know what the requirements are.
Old 05-24-2007, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

I don't have a major city near me and have never been boarded by the CG, in 20 plus years on the water. I have been stopped buy FMP a few dozen times.
Old 05-24-2007, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Not to hijack the thread, but last Tuesday night a had a local guy from the coast guard auxiliary come over and check my boat out (still on the trailer) I passed and he gave me a little stick to put on the port side of my console. Does that mean the CG is less likley to board me? Not that I care, I think my 12 yo would get a kick out of it.
Old 05-24-2007, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Boarded by the US Coast Guard Yesterday

Hey TN you are exactly right.

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