Coast Guard halts illegal charter in Miami

Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement file photo by PA3 James Judge

Coast Guard 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement file photo by PA3 James Judge

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 33-foot pleasure craft, Sunrise, with 11 passengers aboard Saturday in the Intracoastal Waterway near the 79th Street Causeway .

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:

  1. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100A for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  2. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.515B for not having a credentialed mariner in control while operating a small passenger vessel.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.401A for employment of an individual without the appropriate license.
  4. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  5. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.

“Safety is always the number one priority when out on the water,” said Lt. Otis Leonard, duty enforcement officer at Coast Guard 7th District. “Having an unqualified person charter your vessel puts yourself, passengers and other boaters in danger.”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of over $58,000 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 $4,685 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.
  • Up to $11,712 for failure to have been issued a valid Stability Letter prior to placing vessel in service with more than six passengers.

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