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Old 07-30-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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Default environmental police

I had the environmental police come up to me on the water last week for the first time ever. We were fishing off of hull and catching flounder. Everyone on my boat had a license. We are anchored and there was a good 2-3 foot of chop.

They come up behind me full throttle in a ~28' CC. They come off a lobster boat wake and get their boat nearly vertical. I thought they were some yahoo by the way they handled their boat. Seriously, I could drive a boat better when I was 13. To say it bluntly, the way this guy was driving the boat scared me. You know the feeling when someone gets too close to you going to fast and they can't handle the boat. Then they throttle down, almost hit me, and then we see the EP writing on the side of the boat.

Then they want everyone on the boat to pull in their lines as they attempt to board us. After a bout 5 minutes of repeatedly nearly hitting my boat, they figure that boarding me isn't a good idea b/c of the chop. It is also kind of windy so we can barley hear what they are saying, so we assume they want to see our saltwater licenses (they did not have a bull horn or loudspeaker). They get close enough to grab one of our licenses and then they drop it in the water. They don't even apologize and start giving us an attitude. they ask to see my life jackets and want me to blow the horn. Then they floor it away from me and go after some other boat that is 300' away.

The whole time they are talking to us they both have one hand on their sidearms. They never checked anyone leses license and they never checked our fish (or even asked if we had any).

What function do these guys serve? Has anyone ever tried to complain about these guys before?
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Sound like a couple of greenhorns, the few times over the years I have run into them they where cool. nothing worse than a badge with a bad attitude.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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Never complained about them but I did get a ticket once... short lobsters. No fault of my own. The gauge I had was a hair smaller than theirs. I fought the ticket and won. Why I was given it in the first place when they tested my gauge and noticed I was not intentionally keeping shorts is beyond me.

Last year I was pulled over 20 miles out. They came out of no where... I had just released 3 wolffish and they checked my catch and permits. Visit was quick and painless.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:38 AM   #4
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Sound like a couple of greenhorns, the few times over the years I have run into them they where cool. nothing worse than a badge with a bad attitude.
Exactly!!

Ill never forget the time tuna fishing with you on City Slicker when we got boarded by the CG........You remember that day?
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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I've had my bout of encounters w/ MEP - but never been cited for any violations.
Alot of them are really good, but just like any agency, there are always a few bad apples.
I've been boarded soo many times in my area that I now have my COM/REC permits, REG, INS documents, and Driver's License all laminated onto one card and I hand the whole thing over.

You're best bet at battling this agency is to find out who the CO is of the office the EPO is out of...talk to this person first if you have any gripes...you'll tend to get better traction than calling Boston.

As for the hand on the gun thing - for all the nitwits they deal with out there, and not knowing who you are...can you really blame them?
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:01 PM   #6
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Regarding the hand on the sidearms deal...
I do have an issue with that. It is a threat against my personal safety as a law abiding citizen of a free nation.
The "law enforcement" officers of this nation have plenty of leeway dealing with the public, hence gun control laws that limit legal access to legal firearms, by law abiding citizens.

You don't succeed fighting crime by criminalizing law abiding citizens.

Traffic violations are treated as a criminal offense versus the civil infraction they really are.

Law enforcement would have you believe of numerous deaths yearly in the line of duty, most of those happen to be vehicular accidents.

Don't treat me like a criminal until I give you reason to.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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Mass clam cops sux a$$.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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I've had my bout of encounters w/ MEP - but never been cited for any violations.
Alot of them are really good, but just like any agency, there are always a few bad apples.
I've been boarded soo many times in my area that I now have my COM/REC permits, REG, INS documents, and Driver's License all laminated onto one card and I hand the whole thing over.

You're best bet at battling this agency is to find out who the CO is of the office the EPO is out of...talk to this person first if you have any gripes...you'll tend to get better traction than calling Boston.

As for the hand on the gun thing - for all the nitwits they deal with out there, and not knowing who you are...can you really blame them?

I have a real problem with the gun thing. I have a nice boat (4 yr old regulator) and myself and all the guys on my boat were dressed in kaki's and polo shirts. I am a corporate lawyer, I had clients (other corporate lawyers) and my father (65 yr old retired Army Colonel) out fishing. Honestly, I don't know if a couple of them will go out again b/c of the gun thing. I also felt embarassed for my dad, he is used to being treated with respect. Moreover, I could lose business b/c of these nitwits. If they can't handle their boat and treat people with respect on the water they shouldn't be out there. I spend allot of money on boating and the time I have on the water is precious. The last thing I want to do is help "train" new environmental police.

Also, they came up to me. If I approached them, maybe I could see your line of reasoning. Maybe.

I am pretty sure that these guys were out of Hingham b/c I have seen the boat tied up there next to the ferry. Also, they weren't young, probably in their 40's, i.e. old enough to know better.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
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The real issue is why does every agency in the state need a $400k attack boat.

Clam cops
State Police
Boston Police
Harbormasters
Coast Guard

Give the Coast Guard the top of the line boats, training and gear. When I'm sinking I want the Coast Guard doing mach 3 in a jet powered cigarette boat burning 400 gallons per hour of 100 octane race gas.

When I'm enjoying a cocktail fishing for flounder with my kids, I don't need the Hingham harbormaster in a $400k attack boat with a .50 cal machine gun and night vision checking my saltwater license and giving me a portable breathalyzer.

Every agency now feels the need to justify their existence and board boats harassing people on a sunday afternoon.

The epitome of government spending out of control: The Hingham Harbormaster boat. This isn't an attack on him but government spending out of control. No offense to Ken Corson, the hingham harbormaster who's a nice guy. He would do just fine in a $50k regulator. He'd have everything he needs and cruise in style. If I was in his position and everyone else was getting one, I'd do the same and fight for mine too.



The list of towns now with the above boat. Some towns have multiple.

Plymouth
Duxbury
Marshfield (incoming)
Hingham
Quincy
Weymouth

To name a few.....

I'm sure I'll now have a regular boarding thanks to this post.

Last edited by amarshall; 07-30-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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I have a real problem with the gun thing. I have a nice boat (4 yr old regulator) and myself and all the guys on my boat were dressed in kaki's and polo shirts. I am a corporate lawyer, I had clients (other corporate lawyers) and my father (65 yr old retired Army Colonel) out fishing. Honestly, I don't know if a couple of them will go out again b/c of the gun thing. I also felt embarassed for my dad, he is used to being treated with respect. Moreover, I could lose business b/c of these nitwits. If they can't handle their boat and treat people with respect on the water they shouldn't be out there. I spend allot of money on boating and the time I have on the water is precious. The last thing I want to do is help "train" new environmental police.

Also, they came up to me. If I approached them, maybe I could see your line of reasoning. Maybe.

I am pretty sure that these guys were out of Hingham b/c I have seen the boat tied up there next to the ferry. Also, they weren't young, probably in their 40's, i.e. old enough to know better.
Most people don't understand what its like to be a LEO. These people put their lives on the line every day. They have no idea what they are approaching.

No offense, but if I saw 4-5 guys dressed in khakis and polo shirts on a Regulator for a day of fishing, I'd be pretty suspect. I don't know many fisherman that dress like that to go fishing, especially on snotty days.

As for you possibly losing business, that's on you. No EP officer suggested you take clients out on your boat. If you lose business because some other lawyers didn't like the Mass EP, good. You probably don't want to do business with those folks anyway.

All that said, aren't you the guy who didn't know the striper keeper regulations just a month or two ago? If so, I wouldn't worry too much about "training" anyone.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:54 PM   #11
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Its amazing what can be twisted into "public saftey" after 9/11!! Its ashame so much $$ is wasted on keeping us safe!! Dont get me wrong, alot is spent in the rite places, but thats not always the case.
I built the rapid response building at the coast guard station Boston where they house and maintain 4 of those rigs! Coasties all day long deserve those rigs, harbor masters, hardly!! How bout a nice 21'-26' Maritime Skiff for realistic harbor master rig??
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #12
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When in doubt call the coast guard. Unsafe boating practices might indicate dui.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
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Most people don't understand what its like to be a LEO. These people put their lives on the line every day. They have no idea what they are approaching.

No offense, but if I saw 4-5 guys dressed in khakis and polo shirts on a Regulator for a day of fishing, I'd be pretty suspect. I don't know many fisherman that dress like that to go fishing, especially on snotty days.

As for you possibly losing business, that's on you. No EP officer suggested you take clients out on your boat. If you lose business because some other lawyers didn't like the Mass EP, good. You probably don't want to do business with those folks anyway.

All that said, aren't you the guy who didn't know the striper keeper regulations just a month or two ago? If so, I wouldn't worry too much about "training" anyone.
I for one understand what an LEO goes through and can appreciate the efforts of the few good cops, but they are human, and humans suck when given power. Both times Ive been stopped this year (once by the EP once by the CG) they did not board, asked for my registration, looked at my life jackets and said have a good day.....guess I was lucky. the craptastic thing about boats is they do not need probable cause to board, search or confiscate your boat, just suspicion.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:02 PM   #14
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On a different more postive note, I was boarded by the Coasties outside of Hadley's Harbor on Sunday. They were very professional and friendly. The young serviceman driving the boat handled it expertly. They inspected the boat and safety gear in a nice and polite manor. They made one suggestion of where I stow my throw cushion. They wrote up my "yellow ticket" stating I passed the inspection. And they were quickly on their way.

Professional, quick, painless and very pleasant.... I love my yearly Coastie inspection becuase you never know what you may have missed.

Mike
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #15
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I'm sure I'll now have a regular boarding thanks to this post.
amarshall,
This morning there was a knock on my door, and a couple of guys wearing black suits were standing there with dark sunglasses on. I nervously said, "Can I help you?", one of them said, we need to know what your affiliation with a guy named "amarshal" is?. I was so scared, I told them EVERYTHING!!! Sorry!!!!!!


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Old 07-30-2012, 01:24 PM   #16
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These local and state PD boats are so wasteful. Where I boat it is not uncommon to see the State Troopers going full throttle east and pass the Sheriff going full throttle west. It makes me think they are not really doing anything important. That or a simple phone or radio call would saved time and fuel if you're passing eachother at full speed going opposite directions. The USCG is, from every experience I've had, excellent and professional. The local and state guys though, not so much. They are kind of a joke. One example: I saw the sheriff guys using their beautiful Parker 2501 to drag some guy in a Bayliner cruiser out of about a foot of water by hooking his anchor line to their boat and pulling full throttle straight ahead. Needless to say, it did not work.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #17
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I know a guy (outboard mechanic) who maintains the motors on the local Police boats like the one shown above. He said he mounts brand new motors for them, and tells them to take it easy and vary the speed for the first 100 hours or so (break in period). He gets them back at around around 500 hours a few weeks later, and the computer shows it's been run at WOT for 94% of the time. The other 6% I'm sure was the time it took to get out of the marina.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #18
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Most people don't understand what its like to be a LEO. These people put their lives on the line every day. They have no idea what they are approaching.

No offense, but if I saw 4-5 guys dressed in khakis and polo shirts on a Regulator for a day of fishing, I'd be pretty suspect. I don't know many fisherman that dress like that to go fishing, especially on snotty days.

As for you possibly losing business, that's on you. No EP officer suggested you take clients out on your boat. If you lose business because some other lawyers didn't like the Mass EP, good. You probably don't want to do business with those folks anyway.

All that said, aren't you the guy who didn't know the striper keeper regulations just a month or two ago? If so, I wouldn't worry too much about "training" anyone.
Just out of curosity, what should I wear to not look suspect when fishing? If khakis and a polo shirt are a red flag to law enforcement, what should I wear? Cut off jeans and a dirty tank top? Perhaps and eye patch, puffy shirt and tight black knickers? A full set of orange Grundens? The uniform of the international drug runner is khakis and polo shorts, every one knows that, and I don't want to be mistaken for Pablo Escobar.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:43 PM   #19
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Most people don't understand what its like to be a LEO. These people put their lives on the line every day. They have no idea what they are approaching.

No offense, but if I saw 4-5 guys dressed in khakis and polo shirts on a Regulator for a day of fishing, I'd be pretty suspect. I don't know many fisherman that dress like that to go fishing, especially on snotty days.

As for you possibly losing business, that's on you. No EP officer suggested you take clients out on your boat. If you lose business because some other lawyers didn't like the Mass EP, good. You probably don't want to do business with those folks anyway.

All that said, aren't you the guy who didn't know the striper keeper regulations just a month or two ago? If so, I wouldn't worry too much about "training" anyone.
Jzima...
Please explain how our military is able to protect us globally without infringing on our personal freedoms, yet our local "leo"'s need to profile everyone to "safely" perform their duties?!
Do you honestly believe our military service members fight, sacrifice, and die abroad for us to live in a police state at home?

98% of citizens confronted by your "leo"'s are unarmed because that's the way our government likes it, yet 100% of us need to profiled/criminalized for the safety of an "leo"?

100% of all burning buildings are a deadly threat to a fireman, but he doesn't profile who may be inside and determine if they are worthy of rescue.

Should I assault every person of middle eastern descent because they may be a terrorist??

A few hundred years ago there was this little thing called "The American Revolution" where common, hard working, law abiding citizens stood up to a tyrannical government. If you dont see the parallels, then shame on you. If you are willing to give up your personal freedoms, don't assume others are so willing.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by jzima View Post
Most people don't understand what its like to be a LEO. These people put their lives on the line every day. They have no idea what they are approaching.

No offense, but if I saw 4-5 guys dressed in khakis and polo shirts on a Regulator for a day of fishing, I'd be pretty suspect. I don't know many fisherman that dress like that to go fishing, especially on snotty days.

As for you possibly losing business, that's on you. No EP officer suggested you take clients out on your boat. If you lose business because some other lawyers didn't like the Mass EP, good. You probably don't want to do business with those folks anyway.

All that said, aren't you the guy who didn't know the striper keeper regulations just a month or two ago? If so, I wouldn't worry too much about "training" anyone.
Jizman, no offense taken but why the hostility. Got a problem with me? I know plenty of lawyers that take clients out. I also take out quite a few LEO's, most often my brother and some fo his colleagues. I asked if there was a striper boat limit this year b/c someone told me that and I couldn't find anything online.

You are correct, those EP guys are really putting themselves in harms way by harassing every boat they see out on the water on a Friday afternoon. Look out for that boat of lawyers over there, they may be transporting WMD's.

The more I think about it, these guys were definitely the EP's B-team b/c they had a fiberglass CC, not one of those fancy attack boats.
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