An Independence Day cruise from Stamford, Conn., across Long Island Sound to Oyster Bay, N.Y., aboard a 63-foot sailboat ended with two passengers being taken away for immigration violations.
As Gaea Rich and her family pulled into Oyster Bay, they were stopped by a marine patrol of local and federal law enforcement officials, according to a report in the New York Times. Two passengers - a Guatemalan caterer hired for the day and Rich's boyfriend, David Quinn, an Irishman who had worked for years as a horse-carriage driver in Central Park - were taken away on a police boat by federal immigration officials. Both men were illegal immigrants who now face deportation.
The boat, owned by Ms. Rich's uncle, is registered in the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but is moored mostly in U.S. waters, according to the report. Federal maritime law requires that foreign-flagged vessels contact customs officials when they arrive at American ports, even if arriving from another American port. Immigration officials are permitted to board foreign-flagged vessels anytime, said Officer John F. Saleh, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Coast Guard officials, who joined in the stop, are allowed to board any vessel at any time in American waters.