Coast Guard halts 2 illegal charter operations in Miami

The Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium takes a photograph Saturday, October 13, 2019, after terminating the voyage of a 42-foot meridian pleasure craft with 14 passengers aboard near Mulroy Channel. The vessel's voyage was terminated for multiple violations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew takes a photograph Saturday, October 13, 2019, after terminating the voyage of a 42-foot meridian pleasure craft with 14 passengers aboard near Mulroy Channel.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard continued its crackdown on illegal charter vessels this weekend.

On Saturday, the Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 42-foot meridian pleasure craft with 14 passengers aboard near Meloy Channel after discovering the following multiple safety violations:

  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100A for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.7 Certificate of Documentation without a coastwise trade endorsement.
  • 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.

In addition, a 22-foot pontoon with 13 passengers was stopped in the vicinity of Picnic Island. A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boatcrew conducted the boarding of the pleasure craft 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. 15.515B for not having a credentialed mariner in control while operating a small passenger vessel.
  • 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.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 180.71 for failure to have sufficient type one personal floating devices.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.401 for employment of an individual without the appropriate merchant mariner credential

“The operators were taking passengers underway regardless, this irresponsible behavior reflects why is important to verify if operators are certified. It can be very dangerous to take part in a charter that doesn’t meet regulations, and educating yourself on what to look for to determine whether or not the operation is legitimate can save your life,” said, Petty Officer 1st Class Willie Almagro Coast Guard Station Miami Beach. “Remember to ask the captain for credentials before going underway, it’s important to verify that the operator is certified and complying with the law.”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face nearly $60,000 in civil penalties for illegal passenger-for-hire operations.


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