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Old June 10, 2012, 11:06 AM   #23
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Join Date: February 15, 2009
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Posts: 2,118
Originally Posted by Coach Z
The quote that I go by is the one I got from the commander of the coast guard academy when I asked what their jurisdiction was....

"see all the blue of the ocean, that's ours!)

The uscg and customs absolutely does not need any warrant ( for better or worse) to board a vessel within the 12nm limit "contiguous zone" That's been law since congress passed it in 1799!

Link to NOAA PDF of maritime zones and maritime law
Well, you're correct, but there's more.

I can board any US-flagged vessel anywhere on the ocean, up to the territorial limit of another country. Let's say that you're on a 62' yacht 20 miles off the coast of Canada. I can board you any time I please. If your'e within Canada's territorial waters, I cannot board you without contacting the State Dept and them going through the approval network for us to enter Canada's waters for LE missions.

Originally Posted by hogdogs
For me, a cruising vessel is a domicile away from home... I do what I want in my domicile and with out a search warrant NO ONE OFFICIAL LACKING A SEARCH WARRANT MAY ENTER IT SO LONG AS I AM IN THESE HERE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!

This includes the USCG lookin' for smuggled drugs or a harbor master or anyone else for that matter...
Brent, I'll tell you first off that I agree with you, that's the way it should be... But that's not the way it is and if you take that stance with a USCG or Customs boarding team that's attempting to board your vessel, things will end badly for you. Long story short: if we/they want to board you, you will be boarded. Wether that's at sea and lasts a few minutes, or we do it the long, difficult way... It'll be up to you, your boat will be boarded, just a matter of if you go to jail or not.

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights.
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