Coast Guard halts 2 illegal charter operations in Miami over weekend

Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement file photo.

Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement file photo.

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyages of a 32-foot pleasure craft with 11 people aboard near Haulover Inlet and the 34-foot pleasure craft Sunset Stripp with 12 people aboard near Beer Can Island, Saturday after discovering several safety issues.

Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boatcrews conducted boardings of the vessels and discovered the following violations:

  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100A for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.

“Illegal passenger vessel operations pose a direct, serious safety problem to the passengers onboard and others operating on the water,” said Cmdr. Bradley Clare, chief of prevention at Coast Guard Sector Miami, “The Coast Guard will continue to enforce the law to ensure passenger safety and hold violators accountable.”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $41,456 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations. Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel are:

  • Up to $18,477 for failure of an inspected vessel to be under the control of an individual with the appropriate Coast Guard license.
  • Up to $7,250 for failure of operators to be enrolled in a chemical testing program.
  • Up to $23,436 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers.
  • Up to $15,995 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 gross tons.

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