I bought a new boat and we were boarded by the Coast Guard within weeks of purchase. They were armed. We were told in our boating course that the Coast Guard could board and check the vessel for safety vests, flares, fire extinguishes, paperwork and any and all saftey violations.
We opened up our boat for them, we gave them the paperwork and they checked us out. The chances of someone hitting the bay bridge over the Chesapeake or any other bridge is on their mind. I thanked them for their service. One young man told me he seldom heard that from anyone.....they were professional. The water was a bit choppy and the vessels were tied together in open water. The guardsman took care to tie up carefully and protect our new boat with several bumpers. I am glad they are on the job. They have their hands full with nuts and drunks using boats.
And the thing most folks don't understand is that virtually anyone has the right (but unfortunately many times not the knowlege or skill) to operate a vessel on the water.
Case in point, I navigated a 50' vessel thru "Deception Pass" in Puget Sound earlier this year.
Now that's a scary thought....
Thank you for the kind words and faith in our service members. There is quite a bit of negativity towards the people protecting our borders in this thread. I thought I mistakenly ended up at a left-wing forum....