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FFWCC is using Planes to BUZZ POWER BOATERS in FL!!!!

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Old 06-06-2002, 09:19 AM
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Default FFWCC is using Planes to BUZZ POWER BOATERS in FL!!!!

THIS IS PHKN CRAZY!! I saw this on the Standing Watch website.

www.standing-watch.org


"To: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
From: John L. Hollinger

Sub: A Huge Case of Overkill by F1orida Fish and Wildlife Commission

Memorial Day afternoon, I found out that my unintentional error of speeding in a manatee zone was more important to the FFWC than my life and the life of my family.

While returning from a picnic in my boat from the Spoil Islands, we decided to fish a little. We traveled south to within 1/2 mile of the rt. 405 bridge, turning left at a 45-degree angle; we cut across to the channel along the hwy. As I was not familiar with this area, we went slowly to the

end. There, out of the wind, we stopped and fished an hour or so. The manatees came to the boat to check us out. After catching nothing, but enjoying the peace and quite, we left the area very slowly. About a mile from that spot, I increased my speed to about 10 MPH. As we approached the river, an airplane began to circle us, (maybe to admire my new boat?) or maybe we were in a slow zone but never saw any signs. I slowed to slow speed again. The p1ane continued to circle as we approached the ICW, there was a sign that said to resume normal speed again; we had been in a slow speed zone.

Once in the ICW, I went to 25 MPH. The plane left and we continued north for about 15 minutes, the plane came up on us from the south and buzzed us very closely. The plane circled again and buzzed us even closer. At that time, we stopped. No other boats were in sight. We

waited a few minutes and then saw a boat coming up from the south. Sure enough it was a patrol boat, but not Marine Patrol. It was FFWC.

The boat approached, the two men on the boat had their guns out. What in Hell, huge crime did I commit? An airplane to stop me and an armed boat along side. I didn't remember killing anyone. As the boat came along side and observed a boatload of older folks, they then put away their guns.

The wind was very strong and it took two of my male passengers and one of your officers to hold the boats apart the 1/2 hour it took to write the ticket for speeding in a manatee zone. Holding the boat in this manner was very dangerous, easy to break an arm.

I told the officer we saw no signs upon entering the area, which was very poorly marked if there was any. The Mi1lion-dollar airplane buzzing us at a very low altitude in a Strong crosswind was dangerous and foolish. The officers' approaching us with drawn guns is also another insult. I will pay the fine of $65.00 as we were over the speed limit, but the manner of this citation is a reminder of Storm Troopers.

The FFWC needs to be reigned in over this manatee issue. It is way out of proportion.

A Million-dollar airplane and armed officers to write a $65.00 ticket over this infraction is the height of stupidity.

The pilot of the plane had my boat number and could have easily had a letter with the ticket enclosed mailed to me and would have been much safer.

John L. Hollinger"


I personally, feel that the Airplane flight hours would be MUCH BETTER spent patroling our coastline looking for TERRORISTS!!!!
MD
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Old 06-06-2002, 09:40 AM
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Holy ****...Sounds like the Manatee Gestapo!

Seriously, what are they thinking? Where's the justification for this kind of behavior? Plane patrols, armed boat enforcers?...

That agency is completely out of control. Someone told me that the FFWC even has more power than Real law enforcement = police/sherrif and can override what they do and say. WTF
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Old 06-06-2002, 09:42 AM
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Talk about overkill!
The cops must've thought they were smugglers or something to come up with their guns drawn. Unless Mantee protection is just cause for shooting some one.
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Old 06-06-2002, 09:46 AM
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That reminds me...

The harbor that houses our marina is also the home of a large CG base and also has a large deep water basin used by many LARGE yachts, ships and other miscellaneous big ships...Well, recently a 100 foot or so(by my best estimates) FFWC cutter has made the basin its home.

Sure enough, there are always men in black, fully armed keeping 24 hour watch on their ship...You don't even see this on the CG cutters and ships.

The coast guard will let you get reasonably close to their vessels with no problems, but try getting close to the FFWC cutter and they start repremanding on their loudspeakers and shouting orders with guns drawn.....
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Old 06-06-2002, 10:20 AM
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Since when does the FFWC have armed guards?
Sounds like they're running their own little army or navy in this case.
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Old 06-06-2002, 10:30 AM
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"...Sworn members may resort to the use of control, including the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm..."


This from an agency dedicated to fish and wildlife

Policy

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Old 06-06-2002, 10:46 AM
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BD,
Thanks for the Data digging!! Pretty scary stuff, all in the name of FISH!!
MD
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Old 06-06-2002, 11:15 AM
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Check this out:

"WILDLIFE ALERT EXPANDS TO COVER BUI CASES..."

Fine, drinking and boating is not a good thing. I'll agree to that, but why put a FISH and WILDLIFE agency in charge of this kind of thing...

Can anyone say "Out of Scope"

http://floridaconservation.org/whats...ealert-st.html
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Old 06-06-2002, 11:35 AM
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This mans unfortunate encounter with the FFWC may not be the only time we'll hear about this kind of excessive force.

Quote:
7.3.1.5
Sworn members are authorized to draw their weapon from the holster, or display a shoulder weapon, when they reasonably believe they are approaching a situation which may present an imminent threat.
I see, a boat load of older people out fishing presented an "imminent threat" and that was justification for having their guns drawn as they approached. Yeah, right.
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Old 06-06-2002, 11:45 AM
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Not only are they looking for BUI cases but they offer a bounty to those who turn them in.

Quote:
At its March meeting in Gainesville, the 13-member Wildlife Alert Reward Association agreed to authorize the payment of rewards for information leading to the arrest of individuals who operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Under Florida laws, any boat operator who has a .08 or higher blood alcohol reading, or operates a vessel while under the influence of drugs, is subject to arrest.

Quote:
From the programís earliest days violations of freshwater fish or wildlife laws were reported to the nearest GFC regional office, and if an officer made an arrest, a reward could be paid ranging from $25 - $1,000, depending on the seriousness of the violation. Since then, the program has paid out more than $300,000 in rewards and resulted in 20,000 arrests.
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