Duluth Coast Guard initiates penalty for 2 ferry jumpers

9th Coast Guard District NewsDULUTH, Minn. — Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth initiated an enforcement action Wednesday for two men who jumped from the transiting Madeline Island Ferry in July.

The enforcement action is the result of a Coast Guard investigation of the incident involving the two individuals who deliberately jumped from the ferry as it entered the harbor in Bayfield, Wisconsin, July 31, 2016.

The crew aboard the ferry immediately contacted local law enforcement, who apprehended the two men, ages 22 and 25, and notified the Coast Guard. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident.

After a thorough investigation, the Coast Guard determined their deliberate jumping overboard as the vessel approached Bayfield harbor interfered with the safe operation of the ferry. Their actions at such a critical point in the vessel’s transit unnecessarily placed the vessel and passengers in a dangerous situation.

Federal law prohibits interfering with the safe operation of a vessel and could result in up to a $25,000 penalty. As such, the Coast Guard took civil penalty action to ensure the incident does not occur again.

Jumping from a moving vessel forces the captain to follow the vessel’s man overboard procedures, requiring the captain to immediately maneuver the vessel in a position to allow the crew to safely recover the person in the water. This maneuver could put other passengers and crewmembers at risk for potential injury and impedes the safe navigation of a regulated waterway.

The public is reminded that deliberately jumping from a moving vessel is dangerous to the person who jumps, passengers and crew, and it impedes the safe navigation of all vessels operating in the area.

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