Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Only Ones Go To Sea

Seems like all that fun cops are having on land hasn't gone unnoticed by the US Coast Guard. There was no boarding in this instance but it sounds a little like a sea-faring version of tactical entry.

Fifteen minutes into my watch, I heard something.

A speed boat? Maybe the wind, creating a wind chime with the back stay? I’m trying to get used to the various sounds on our boat. I can’t see anything. No lights to warn me of another boat. I scan, 360 degrees. Everyone is supposed to have their lights on at night, right? Suddenly a spotlight big as the full moon blasts through the cockpit, no further than 20 feet from port aft.

Pirates of the Caribbean. Drug runners. Highway robbery. Get ahold of yourself and get Craig up. We are going to be robbed if not murdered, hacked into little pieces, fed to the sharks. They will take everything — Rita [the autopilot] too — Please, not Rita, she was so bloody expensive. These thoughts reel through my mind in milliseconds as I race to the companionway. ...

Fortunately for her a companion guessed that it was the Coast Guard- but imagine if she had been alone, scared and had drawn a gun to defend herself from the unknown threat...

The situation has apparently gotten so bad that the Coast Guard Commandant has had to issue an email complaining about their behaviour. He has received complaints that the USCG have not behaved professionally and, perhaps more importantly, that people are "fearful of retribution if they challenge the Coast Guards conduct."

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