The Coast Guard is a federal agency tasked with protecting the United States’ maritime interests. As such, they have the authority to board and inspect vessels in international waters. But can they board your boat?
The answer is yes, but there are some restrictions. The Coast Guard has the authority to board and inspect any vessel in international waters that is suspected of violating U.S. laws or regulations. This includes vessels that are suspected of engaging in illegal fishing, drug smuggling, human trafficking, or other activities that violate U.S. laws or regulations.
In addition, the Coast Guard can board any vessel in international waters if it is believed to be a threat to national security or public safety. This includes vessels that may be carrying weapons of mass destruction or hazardous materials, as well as vessels that may be involved in terrorist activities or piracy.
When the Coast Guard boards a vessel in international waters, they must follow certain procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of all involved parties and to protect the rights of those on board the vessel. The Coast Guard must provide notice of their intent to board and inspect the vessel before doing so, and they must also provide an explanation for why they are boarding and inspecting it.
Once on board, the Coast Guard will conduct an inspection of the vessel’s documents and cargo as well as any persons on board who may be involved in illegal activities or pose a threat to national security or public safety. They may also search for contraband such as drugs or weapons if they have reasonable suspicion that these items are present on board the vessel.
If you find yourself being boarded by the Coast Guard while out at sea, it is important to remain calm and cooperate with their instructions. You should also make sure you understand your rights under U.S law before speaking with them about any matters related to your boat or its passengers/crew members/cargo/documents etc., as this could have serious legal implications for you down the line if not handled properly from the start.
While it is true that The Coast Guard can board your boat in international waters under certain circumstances, it is important for all boaters to understand their rights when dealing with this federal agency so that they can protect themselves from potential legal issues down the line should an inspection occur while out at sea.