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#572565 - 07/15/19 10:41 AM Spotting Responsibilities  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,505
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,505
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
Sad to say however yesterday was our maiden voyage on our boat this year. We went to our local lake which is much smaller than where we typically boat. OHFM did some tubing, OHSM did some tubing, and I was able to do a little tubing as well. Tubing was a bigger hit as we acquired a new tube and wanted to try it out.

All was good until it was my turn to tube. My wife was at the helm and OHFM was our spotter sitting in the bow facing backwards, OHSM was sitting on the stern bench. Both boys had PFD's and my wife had one at her side and I of course was wearing mine on the tube. Soon after I get on the tube a boat toots their horn and it was "boat police". My wife stops and turns off the boat as there were 5 people on board the boat police boat.

Boat Police (BP)- what did you forget?
Wife- nothing
BP- you don't have a spotter.
Wife- our spotter is right here (pointing to OHFM)
BP- your spotter should be next to you so you can hear each other
Wife- we prefer to have eye to eye contact between the spotter and the captain, the spotter can see the tuber and me at the same time and plus you can't really hear each other because of the wind noise. This is a system we have been doing for years and has worked wonderful for us.
BP- I can see you have thought this out pretty good and can accept your reasons, how old is the spotter?
Wife- 11.5
BP- you need to be at least 12 years old
Me- as I am now in the boat, according to the PA Fish and boat manual the spotter must be a competent person and doesn't specifically state an age
BP- PA defines competent as being 12,

I wasn't going to push the issue any further or pull out the manual as we weren't going to be cited however they were incorrect. I did however when I got to land and this is what it says.

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#572567 - 07/15/19 11:34 AM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Oct 2003
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captkevin Offline
Admiral
captkevin  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 7,602
Chicago, IL
Sounds like they were grasping for a reason to pull you over & see what else they could find. Have to imagine lots of times it pays off for them. We had 2 similar incidents over the years. Handled it in a similar fashion & moved on.


2004 Rinker 232
2010 Dodge Ram Crew Cab Laramie 4x4
#572570 - 07/15/19 11:48 AM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,946
Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,946
Southern California
Hmmm Five people aboard the police boat. Sounds to me like the "guests" were being shown how great the police patrol is at doing their job.
If you are interested in pushing the issue, maybe a little bit of research would reveal who the extra people were. In the very least, a polite letter to the police chief would do wonders for two reasons:
1. Alert the chief of the "violations" were not necessary, in fact, are incorrect according tot he PA boating handbook .
2. Possibly eliminate such "ride-alongs". Extra persons in a police boat could negatively impact actions needed in case of a real emergency.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572573 - 07/15/19 12:29 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,865
Justification Offline
Admiral
Justification  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,865
Fruit Heights, Utah
May be a little later in the season than we'd like to start, but it sounds like ya'll had a great time to make up for it.


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You should feel without beer.
#572574 - 07/15/19 12:52 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,369
tpenfield Offline
Admiral
tpenfield  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,369
Cape Cod, MA
I hear (read) many stories like this on various forums . . . water police stopping people multiple times, interpreting the rules, etc., etc.

I have not seen much in the way of law enforcement in the areas that I boat . . . but it is ocean waters, so perhaps that is a bit different.


Regards, Ted

Formula 330SS

My Boat Web Sites
#572577 - 07/15/19 05:01 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,251
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,251
Pasco, WA
Many years ago when I had a 20' open bow boat we were out tubing and water skiing. The last person to ski that day finished his run and we picked him up and headed to a sheltered bay to eat dinner. The water cops came up to us and asked for my ID and said we had been skiing to late in the day, stating the legal time to stop was 1/2 hour before sunset.

When we asked what time sunset was he wasn't sure but said "I think it's …..", giving a time about 20 minutes in the future which would have put us in violation of the law.

I asked him how a person was to know what the limit was because it was not even mentioned in the state's boater safety handbook (I had the booklet on board). At the time I was a cop and used that to apply a little force to get them to not write a citation. He wrote the citation anyway and I signed it without any further argument.

I checked on the state law and found it said 1/2 hour AFTER sunset, which we clearly were not in violation of. I went to court armed with the copy of the state law, the citation which had the time on it, and a weather report which showed the time of sunset.

The judge agreed with me. Case Dismissed.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#572583 - 07/15/19 08:00 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,851
Frantically Relaxing Offline
Admiral
Frantically Relaxing  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 11,851
Ya see occifer, the noon gap on my sundial's gnomon is outta whack and my sextant is in the shop with a busted horizon mirror- otherwise I may have known when the sun was 1/2 hour from setting...

As soon as he said "I think it's..." he had no business writing a ticket, as he had no more idea than you when it was 1/2 hour before sunset. Which wasn't the rule anyway.

Funny how many law enforcers don't even know the laws they're enforcing.


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#572584 - 07/16/19 01:13 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,051
Just Bob Offline
Cap'n of all things wet
Just Bob  Offline
Cap'n of all things wet
Admiral

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,051
Chalfont, PA
Was it actual police, Fish and Game, or Coast Guard Auxiliary? I was hollered at by the CGA at that same little lake for using VHF channel 16 to hail my friend's boat once. They told me 16 was for emergency use only.


"Annabo": 2005 Larson Senza 206 w/5.0L Bravo III
#572589 - 07/18/19 01:34 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,505
On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,505
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
It was Coast Guard Auxiliary, the funny thing is we stopped the boat near the dam to boot my son off so I could get on. Not until after I started tubing did I notice we were right next to a F&G boat just floating. I have nothing to worry as we have plenty of PFD's, required fire extinguishers, an expired Coast Guard Auxiliary safety check sticker, and no banned substances on board. In fact my wife even pointed to our expired CG safety sticker from 2015.


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#572591 - 07/18/19 05:18 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,419
WayWeGo Offline
Admiral
WayWeGo  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,419
Oakton, VA
Unless I am mistaken, the USGC Auxiliary does not have the authority to issue a citation or board your boat unless there is an actual member of the USCG onboard. While many of them are responsible and helpful, there are a few who let the uniform go to their head and try to throw their weight around.

The only thing they could do is call real law enforcement -- you had nothing to worry about.



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#572592 - 07/18/19 07:46 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: WayWeGo]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,251
GoFirstClass Offline
Retired Boating Bum
GoFirstClass  Offline
Retired Boating Bum
Grand Poobah

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 15,251
Pasco, WA
Originally Posted by WayWeGo
While many of them are responsible and helpful, there are a few who let the uniform go to their head and try to throw their weight around..

I could write a book on USCGA people letting it go to their heads and tossing their considerable weight around. That seems to be the normal course of action around here.


"Beachcomber" 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge


Anchor's down......Bottoms Up!
#572595 - 07/18/19 08:19 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,946
Jack T Offline
Admiral
Jack T  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,946
Southern California
Kind of like the parking lot enforcement police (retired people who volunteer their time). Give 'em a uniform and they change into a cop.


Have a great day of boating
2012 Monterey 224 FS,
300 HP Volvo Penta with catalytic converters

#572596 - 07/19/19 07:09 AM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,121
2Suns Offline
Admiral
2Suns  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,121
Peoria,IL
I was under the impression the auxiliary couldn’t stop people?


By the time they had diminished from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to suspect "Hungry.-Gary Larson
#572597 - 07/19/19 11:48 AM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: 2Suns]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,369
tpenfield Offline
Admiral
tpenfield  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,369
Cape Cod, MA
Originally Posted by 2Suns
I was under the impression the auxiliary couldn’t stop people?



Me too . . . idn


Regards, Ted

Formula 330SS

My Boat Web Sites
#572621 - 07/25/19 04:39 PM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: 2Suns]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,419
WayWeGo Offline
Admiral
WayWeGo  Offline
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,419
Oakton, VA
Originally Posted by 2Suns
I was under the impression the auxiliary couldn’t stop people?

Anyone can tell somebody else to stop. Whether they are required to do so by law is another matter! cool



1975 Trojan F36 Convertible, Twin Chrysler 440's
2014 West Marine AL360 Inflatable, 1966 Mercury 6HP, 1992 Mercury 20HP
#572629 - 07/30/19 06:49 AM Re: Spotting Responsibilities [Re: On Holiday]  
Joined: Aug 2004
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On Holiday Offline
Daddy
On Holiday  Offline
Daddy
Admiral

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 6,505
PA and Smith Mountain Lake
If we didn't stop for the auxiliary then they would have called the Fish and Boat Commission and they would have come over and then stuff could get serious real quick. This lake is about the size of a bathtub and has 3-5 patrol boats on it each weekend.


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