Boarded by US Coastguard (again)...did they cross the line?

Discussion in 'Private Boaters and General Saltwater' started by natural_one, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. natural_one

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    Rewind 5 weeks ago....
    I was captaining my boss' boat. It was my wife, 5yr old son, and another couple.
    We were under power outside the midway just showing our friends around, doing maybe 5mph in the bay, and were stopped and boarded by the US Coastguard.
    We showed registration, my driver's license, and necessary safety equipment. Process took maybe 15 minutes...not bothered really at all. Whatever.
    He handed me a yellow slip, referred to him as the "Golden Ticket" and said if this vessel is stopped anytime in the next 12 months, just show the "Golden Ticket" and you'll be on your way, no boarding.

    Now, today.....
    I get picked up at the Coronado dock in front of Peohe's by my buddy who decided to take a group of his employees, as well as his pastor and pastor's father in law, out on the bay for a couple hours to site see and fish. A couple of them have rods, but he wants me there to bring some gear and put them on any fish. I give him a very stern warning to make sure these guys get a one day fishing license.

    We shoot out towards the bait barge. 10 people total on a large, nice deck/bay boat with a 14 person capacity.
    We stop, and about 5 or 6 drop some lines in, and within 5 minutes a very large US CoastGuard vessel does a 180* turn, heads for us, and then comes on the loud speaker "USCG, Maintain position, we will be sending a small vessel to board yours."

    Great.

    I quickly tell my buddy/captain what items they will be asking for and that this typically takes 20 minutes or so.
    About 30 minutes later a small rib boat is coming towards loaded with four armed and helmeted coastguard members.
    The stop seemed fairly routine and quick as they went through the list I expected. I felt like it was coming to an end as nothing notable had been discovered, all safety items had been presented perfectly.

    The lead guy, a 7 year vet of the USCG, then asks if we have flares on board.
    My buddy does, and presents them, to which USCG says they are expired.
    I politely ask if they are even needed inside the bay, to which he informs me "no, only if you go outside the bay".
    Than WTF are we doing I wonder..... and I start to realize they are now absolutely looking for anything they can do to ticket and waste our time.

    Next?....."I need to see everyone's fishing licenses". Hmm, Ive only been told DGF requires these, but we hand over 7 or 8 licenses...just the guys who were fishing. He inspects each intensely. I mention "I thought only DFG checks this, no?" Im ignored.
    "what is your target species today?"....for real? The coast guard wants to know what type of fish we hope to catch in SD bay? Keep in mind this was not casual conversation with some guy just making small talk, this question came from the large boat, and he radio'd back our response "they are saying spotted bay bass, sand bass, and halibut".


    Next?... "I need a driver's license or photo id from all 10 of you".
    You've got to be kidding me. 10 driver's licenses are provided and handed over. They pass these off to the rib boat and now we are basically at a stand still, occasionally being asked to motor closer to the large USCG boat as we are drifting.
    I even asked the lead guy why this was necessary...his response, "we do it at every stop". BS....Im proof you dont.
    Im not sure how long this exact part took but I'll say at least 40 more minutes. One by one, calling in each ID....
    While this is going on, they decide to question the captain more and more....even digging around a little and checking serial numbers of the motor and calling them in.

    Shocking, they find nothing. Almost saddened by the result, they hop off and away they go.
    Us? Well, after almost an hour and half of not fishing, we have to head in as we only had 2 hours.
    People are pissed, Im confused, and several of them wasted money on licenses they didnt even use.


    Here the kicker Im going to not-so-sensitively imply:

    The first boarding happened to 5 white people.
    The second happened with 7 hispanic males.
    The digging for something, ludicrous questioning, IDs, checks, fishing licenses, etc.....it reeks of discrimination, and Im not one to play the race card, as Im a 34 yr old white male who has never seen first hand this up close.

    Im all for protecting our borders, all for the sacrifice our service men/women make daily, have numerous active duty friends, some deployed just last week....I mean no disrespect by this post or my implications, but come on.

    It just felt super slimy the whole time. Thoughts?
     
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  2. Slater

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    I do a private 2day private charter on The New Lo Ann every year, been doing it for years...
    2 years ago as we were chasing bft below San Clemente on the second day...
    Huge Coast Guard Cutter chases us down & the same thing happened.
    Small rib boards us, coasties go up in the wheelhouse with Markus & look-over all his docs & safety stuff, etc...
    Then when that was done, they came down & asked to see all 22 our fishing licenses.
    So, not out of the ordinary, routine...
     
  3. kyle12345

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    Its called white privilege. I learned about it after marrying a minority woman and started noticing how differently we are treated..
     
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  4. natural_one

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    Interesting. I guess I see one role of them officially being "environmental protection" which Id still consider a stretch.

    And I even call BS with your search... you guys were below deck, no rods in hand, and they demand to see licenses? What if you didnt have it?
     
  5. Slater

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    They really cant differentiate between who's fishing, who's not....
    If youre on a boat with fishing poles, safer to be 100% & everyone on the boat should have a license to avoid any drama...
     
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  6. Ram-Rod

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    Did you show them your golden ticket?
     
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  7. scisports

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    That’s nuts..... sorry man
     
  8. fishboy92

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    I be like me no speak no English. Point at my fishing license, and i.d
     
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  9. Troy

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    Sounds like a pretty bad experience either way.
     
  10. geofish

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    Sucks! Racial profiling????
     
  11. geofish

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    FYI - Very Important

    If fishing at the Coronado Islands..... Everyone must have an FMM AND Mexican Fishing License. AND be on the manifest.

    I’d rather deal with the US Coast Guard than the Mexican Navy
     
  12. weldon

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    If it were the Mexican Navy they would have their hand out and you could grease a palm and be outta there in no time. Years ago we got stopped in the Islands on a day charter and they didn't speak English and we didn't speak Spanish so after a stand off they left after which our oldest club member (82) turned to us and in fluent Spanish said to the effect of "F--- 'em." Seems he was in the OSS in the Philippines during WW !! and overheard them how they wanted to shake us down. :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
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  13. tjthegreat1

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    They are way out of line. They are military, not ca dfg wardens. It's that simple. The worst they could do is stall you and call dfg if you were poaching.
     
  14. Capt Ray

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    They are not military, they are the Office of Homeland Security and yes they have the authority to check for fishing violations (Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act) . Some guys are polite but not all of them. I have been boarded dozens of times, some easy some not so much. I wouldn't let it get to you.
     
  15. CrazyDonkey

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    Racial profiling based on two separate instances? Some people do their job by the book and some do not, some people think i'm an ******* at work because I go by the book, other people don't and most people like them. Sorry that you guys were so offended by USCG personnel that were going by the book, maybe they had new members during your stop and were using it as a real life training evolution. Did you possibly think of that or was your first reaction to think that they were doing it because of the non-whites?

    Some of y'all need to get a damn grip for real.
     
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  16. agrazela

    agrazela Unstable Subgenius
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    That does suck. Maybe a bit of profiling, and/or some showboating and/or training for the new guys. But it doesn’t sound to me like they exceeded their authority, so whatcha gonna do?

    At least you didn’t go all “Cops” on them and earn yourself a beat down.
     
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  17. Creek

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    Well, here's the way we were informed at my work...CG falls under the responsibility of the DHS. In times of conflict however, POTUS can transfer them to join Naval assets. At least, that's the way I remember reading it in a continued education bulletin.
     
  18. Creek

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    Racial profiling. I was wondering when that card was going to get played.
     
  19. tjthegreat1

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    I was a little loose with the term military, the difference is important though. I was wondering if there were federal fishing regs they could check but I didn't think they would have that authority. Thanks for info, I'll have to dig some more into the laws.
     
  20. zoner

    zoner Well-Known Member

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    not 100% sure about the Coast Guard but lifeguards can check your licsence and cite you for not having one
     
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