Boarded by the Mexican Navy

While at Bahia Tortugas, one day all of the cruising boats anchored in the bay were boarded by the local Navy. One boat tried to sail out and were headed off by a fast moving boat and ordered to wait for the inspection.

Mexican Navy boarding party

The officers were courteous and efficient when they came onto our boat. They boarded the boat without any damage to our vessel (always a concern when someone comes alongside). They asked to see our documentation, clearance, and fishing licenses, examined our radio, looked inside our storage areas and then left.


  1. What are the rules for boarding foreign flagged vessels? Do they vary by country?
    I believe that the US Coast guard or any US military vessel can board any American flagged vessel in any waters if they choose.

  2. I don't know the answer to that. I would love to hear it if you find out.

    Our rule is that the local military with the big guns can come aboard!