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Old 04-23-2019, 10:11 PM   #1
Lt. Commander

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 170
Default First Coast Guard boarding

We've been boating in the SF bay for 10 years. We've seen the CG on the water but never been boarded... until yesterday. It was an interesting incident so I thought I'd post it here. I've heard about Coast Guard safety checks, but this wasn't one of those.

We were heading south, and had just passed under the Bay Bridge. We were doing about 8 knots, and I planned on going up on plane for the balance of the trip shortly. I noticed two small boats directly in front of us, moving at high speed right at us. All of a sudden, they split.... one went left, the other right. They circled around and came up behind us. They slowed to our speed with one to port and one to starboard, slightly astern. One of the CG guys asked us if we've ever been boarded (no) and let us know they wanted to do a routine boarding to check our documents. We said OK and the guy to starboard pulled up close and two CG guys jumped on board.

They told us they didn't want to do a safety inspection, they just needed our (auto) driver's license and boat registration. I got that for them and one guy made a bunch of notes while the other engaged in mostly small talk. Along the way, they asked me the name of our boat and what model it was. The name is clearly marked on the stern, and the model is on the registration, so I found this a little interesting.

They were extremely polite, and left after about 15 minutes. Afterwards we wondered, why did they ask questions that they clearly knew the answer to? And why didn't they do a safety check? The only thing we could come up with is, maybe they were looking for a stolen boat, and wanted to make sure we could answer questions any owner would have no problems answering? Anyway, no harm no foul, just a somewhat curious experience!

The attached photo shows the boats after they left.
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coast guard boarding.jpg  

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Old 04-24-2019, 12:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Essex, Maryland
Posts: 8,360

Thanks for sharing.

It may have been a practice boarding for a hostel vessel, Based on the approach.
The rest is a formality to cover up the intent.

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Old 04-24-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Marin County, California
Posts: 64

I was boarded by the C.G. around 5 years ago just off the coast of Tiburon in San Francisco Bay.* It was for nothing more than a very complete safety check. They wrote me a fix it ticket with a potential fine.* I was just missing the required flotation cushion to toss in the water in case someone falls over board with out a life jacket* Sent them the receipt from West Marine the next day and avoided a fine.* It doesn't happen often... but just be prepared if it does......
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:25 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lake Powell
Posts: 1,486

Training exercise......
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:36 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Marin County, California
Posts: 64

EXACTLY Phill.....
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