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Old 06 August 2014, 10:50   #1
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Boarded by the Coast Guard

There I was out for a pleasant afternoon on the boat a 22'0" centre console T-top with 2 x 85hp Yamaha outboards.

Anchored at Shitten Bay at about 2:30 in the afternoon.

Along comes the St..Kitts & Nevis Coast Guard RIB with 3 x 275hp Mercury engines plus an odd assortment of guns including something like an AK47 - I am no expert on weapons however I think the were probably loaded with live ammunition.

They asked if they could come aboard.

Sure, no problem says I.

One officer with clipboard and massive black assault type boots came aboard, fortunately they did not leave a mark(s).

Asked :-
Name of vessel: Gave it and the reg number (painted big on the side)
Owner: Me, no ID left it in the car (did I have my ownership receipt - Yeah right, I haven't a clue where it is);
Crew: Names, ages and nationalities, given and recorded.
Anchor: We were anchored with a Fortress with 10'0" of stainless steel chain in 15'0" of water, but had a spare Fortress anchor with 10'0" of stainless steel chain and unused coil of 720'0" of rope;
Flares: Yes, flare launcher in orange container and some replacement cartridges I bought 1 year ago.
Mirror: Signalling device in the flare box.
Compass: Yes, fixed into centre console.
Whistle: Yes, in the flare box.
Bailer: 2 x Rule bilge pumps and one 5 gallon pail. A big pail is better when bailing than a little one.
Spare fuel: Yes 2 x 5 gallons in containers with hoses.
Oars (no no rowlocks either)
VHF No, but did have (3) mobile phones among crew. Maybe I should carry my satellite phone?
Flashlight/torch: No, but did have matches.
Water: Two 2 litre bottles of water and the melting ice in the cooler.

Also had a First Aid Kit but was not asked for it.

The officer was extremely pleasant and cordial.

They then boarded a tiny fishing boat and a day charter catamaran.

Good to see that they were checking up on boats.
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Old 06 August 2014, 11:17   #2
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common occurrence when training away from uk waters. Had the Greek coastguard, Turkish coastguard, Cypriot coastguard alongside at one time or another. General rule is never run...you'll usually not outrun what they are using. Be civil and friendly...and whatever you do, do not assume that because the guy you are dealing with barely speaks English that his partner is the same. Brought home to us in Greece when the CG turned up all guns and attitude and the young guy at the stern of the boat conversed in broken English with the boat owner. His boss was at the wheel on the centre consol and at the end of the discussions (Crazy Dave who lives out there was short of a few bits n pieces they wanted to see on the boat) spoke for the first time in perfect oxford university English to say " Gentlemen, if you do not have all the requisite paperwork etc onboard this vessel next time I see you there will be a severe financial penalty..you understand that Gentlemen?" He then sorta mentioned with a grin that he had attended uni in the uk! He always let the youngster do the talking so he could listen in to the conversations elsewhere on the boat. Clever *****!
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Old 06 August 2014, 20:29   #3
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I don't think the UK coastguard has any way of boarding anymore!

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Old 06 August 2014, 20:48   #4
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I don't think the UK coastguard has any way of boarding anymore!

SDG
Border force do... we've split out the two/three functions in the UK. So in some countries CG would deal with immigration issues, excise issues, safety issues.

HM CG / MCA did have a couple of boats but suspect they are not used for boarding like this.

Border force have some big kit that used to be part of customs & excise. Not sure HMRC still have stuff...
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Old 06 August 2014, 23:17   #5
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Looking for drug runners?

USCG does boardings at random (though they generally hit me for some reason); around here they are more safety inspections for required equipment.

Generally goes like:

What am I doing out today? [like the dive gear isn't a giveaway] No, no weapons on board (spearguns don't count.)

Show current registration and ID, lifejacket for each person, show flares (hopefully not expired), show throwable flotation aid (required for over 16', I think), sound horn (or show can of compressed air horn, or whistle), show fire extinguisher (required as my tank is built-in.)

Wait a few minutes while they finish paperwork, then get the explanation that this form will prevent another inspection within 6 months or a year (depending on who's talking.) File the form, which has never prevented another inspection.

Total time about 5 to 10 minutes (depends on if the guy filling the form out has done this before, and how fast he writes.) All in all, not too bad.

So yeah, Doug, you're not the only one.

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Old 07 August 2014, 01:50   #6
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On lakes it is the sheriff that does inspections, not boardings. In all my years of boating, We have gotten one ticket when a pro wakeboarder from Australia left his lifejacket behind. Typically the inspections by the coast guard reserves come before launching. Ironically now I launch a lot at the Coast Guard station on the San Francisco Bay, as it is free, and well located (Hence why it is a Coast Guard station), and have never had them inspect me. I do follow all the rules and even make sure I always have my trailer and boat registration.

I did learn the other day when surprising a police officer who was trespassing on private property (Addressing a homeless couple fighting), with a handgun in your hand leaves you in handcuffs until they verify who you are. (I quickly set the handgun down and put my hands in the air, as I announced who I was.) They ran me, and my gun, then handed it back to me and told me to have a nice day. One of them even told me he was a HUGE gun proponent, and said I had a nice Beretta. Not even a comment from them about the pre-ban 15 round clip. No hard feelings from either side.
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Old 07 August 2014, 02:25   #7
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Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
Border force do... we've split out the two/three functions in the UK. So in some countries CG would deal with immigration issues, excise issues, safety issues.

HM CG / MCA did have a couple of boats but suspect they are not used for boarding like this.

Border force have some big kit that used to be part of customs & excise. Not sure HMRC still have stuff...
Have seen UK border force regularly around Poole, Swanage and in the area, have also regularly seem them board vessels including numerous times in Studland Bay from a small rib they launch off the back end of the large vessel they use.
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Old 07 August 2014, 03:53   #8
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Makes you realise how lucky we are here in the UK (says he, sitting in the sun in Normandy typing this. France has more police & bureaucrats than offenders, & there're a LOT of offenders) Never been boarded in the UK, had a cheery wave from the border patrol boats now & then, but that's it. No tickets, leesonces (apart from VHF) , permits, fines, tests etc etc.
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Old 07 August 2014, 04:20   #9
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Have seen UK border force regularly around Poole, Swanage and in the area, have also regularly seem them board vessels including numerous times in Studland Bay from a small rib they launch off the back end of the large vessel they use.
One seems to have been lurking around Eastbourne for a while. It certainly seems to have a turn of speed.

Doesn't show up on AIS though...
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Old 07 August 2014, 06:10   #10
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I would have found that quite scary! I'm glad we don't tend to get that kind of stuff in the UK.

I used to race on a yacht when I was about 14, and one day I was helping the owner deliver the boat somewhere for a regatta. Suddenly the Police pulled up next to us in this massive black rib and started asking lots of questions. They were very nice and soon disappeared after the owner stuck his head out from down below to see what was going on, I think they were just a bit confused as to why a 13 year old was sailing a 33 foot yacht through some busy shipping lanes seemingly on his own. :L
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Old 07 August 2014, 07:22   #11
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This event happened some 7 years ago and concerns the Parker rib known then as "Nautibouy". Probably only a few of you may remember this. Each time I read it a smile comes to my face . The file is big so here is a link to my dropbox.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...l%20Cruise.pdf


Enjoy the reading
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Old 07 August 2014, 12:01   #12
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This event happened some 7 years ago and concerns the Parker rib known then as "Nautibouy". Probably only a few of you may remember this. Each time I read it a smile comes to my face . The file is big so here is a link to my dropbox.



https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...l%20Cruise.pdf





Enjoy the reading

That's awesome. Great story, you couldn't have made it up any better!
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Old 07 August 2014, 14:11   #13
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Very good read thanks for that. The customs attitude is not surprising from what I have heard about them :-/
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Old 07 August 2014, 16:16   #14
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It surprises me at how relaxed our sea borders are, you here of drug smugglers disguising drug drops as lobster pots around the UK coastline but you never see any Military or Police boats covering the areas. Been to Ireland , Isle of Man, and around the west coast of Scotland and seen bo diddley squat.
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Old 07 August 2014, 16:51   #15
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It surprises me at how relaxed our sea borders are, you here of drug smugglers disguising drug drops as lobster pots around the UK coastline but you never see any Military or Police boats covering the areas. Been to Ireland , Isle of Man, and around the west coast of Scotland and seen bo diddley squat.
Are you thinking about a change of career Kerny?
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Old 07 August 2014, 17:09   #16
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Are you thinking about a change of career Kerny?
You must have read my mind ww cutbacks and all that
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Old 07 August 2014, 18:25   #17
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We were in the Scillies a few years back on a charter yacht when a rib pulls alongside and the occupant announces himself as an off- duty policeman, flashed some id we never did get to see properly and started asking who we were, where from, etc. all very pleasant, but when he took down the kids' full names and ages (about7 and 9 at the time) and then asked if we had our passports, I started to feel this had gone far enough. So no, we didn't have our passports, which stopped my wife going to get them from the chart table, and who exactly did you say you were again? The story then was that he was a west country copper on his holidays, who felt strongly enough about "stuff" coming into the UK on small boats entering via that part of the world that he was spending his free time and own money checking people out. Seemed very strange and, with all due respect to west country coppers, he looked remarkably tanned and fit, sort of guy who spent a lot of time outside doing energetic stuff, more a military type than a copper. We kept seeing him over the rest of our week there, still checking out yachts, in fact one time he came to do us again until the looks on our faces reminded him he'd been on this boat before. Never did find out what was really going on - was he really a slightly over- keen copper doing his own thing or was this some kind of weird low - budget official exercise, although you'd think they'd have dreamt up a better cover story...?

But the only time I've been checked out at sea in UK waters
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Old 07 August 2014, 22:51   #18
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Smithyyy; over here, off-duty means just that. He would have no more authority than anyone else unless he witnessed a crime in progress and acted to stop that. In other words, a pretty good way to get the tar beat out of you.

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Old 08 August 2014, 03:27   #19
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Smithyyy; over here, off-duty means just that. He would have no more authority than anyone else unless he witnessed a crime in progress and acted to stop that. In other words, a pretty good way to get the tar beat out of you.

jky
'scuse the thread drift. I once got a ticket from the DVLA for having an untaxed vehicle on the public highway. Which was odd, because I could prove that at the time of the "offence" I was on a flight from Thailand & the vehicle was parked on private property (pre SORN days). The tax had run out whilst I was on holiday as I knew it would, so had taken all due precautions before I left. It all turned out, that I was reported by not only a copper who was off duty, but had been on long term sick for over six months. I replied to the DVLA that I could prove the ticket was at best careless, at worst malicious & would see them in court. That was over 10 years ago, nothing heard, out.
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Old 08 August 2014, 05:15   #20
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In my early twenties I was working on a cruise ship, one day when we arrived from a Mexico cruise back to Los Angeles I was woken in my bed by a sniffer dog and a large drug enforcement officer with large gun on hip stating the dog had detected drugs from outside the cabin and did I have anything to say. After a good deal of stating NO i dint have any drugs the cop stated he would give me one last chance to come clean, then he asked me loads of questions and had the dog do another sniff round at which point the dog sat infront of my bedside cabinet, more questions followed by a search of said cabinet and teh cop extracted a small bum bag (thing you wore round your waste) again another warning as the dog was going loopy at this stage and then after more questions where I told him where i worked what i did etc etc he asked me a funny question " do you have any $100 bills in your wallet in that bag" ? yes i replied as i worked in the casino we were paid from the cash in teh safe and also had tip money in there, he took a look and then laughed, ... that will be it he said casino cash is very dirty money especially $100 bills as cocaine sniffers often use them to role them up to sniff the cocaine and hence a microscopic residue for cocaine can often be found on $100 bills in circulation. So no issue sir and have a nice day. Bloody amazing sniffer dog and lesson learnt that money is very dirty indeed. It was just a shock to be woken up like that especially as I had a rather bad hangover.
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