Coast Guard halts illegal charter near Bahia Hutchinson Island

A Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement boat crew conducted the boarding of a 23-foot pleasure craft with nine people aboard operating as an illegal charter Feb. 29, 2020 near Bahia Hutchinson Island. The vessel's voyage was terminated for 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. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Fort Lauderdale)

A Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale boat crew conducts the boarding of a 23-foot pleasure craft with nine people aboard operating as an illegal charter Feb. 29, 2020 near Bahia Hutchinson Island.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station Fort Lauderdale)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of pleasure craft operating as an illegal charter Saturday near Bahia Hutchinson Island.

A Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boat crew conducted the boarding of a 23-foot pleasure craft with nine people aboard 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. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.

“Vessel operators desiring to operate a chartered vessels must ensure they have the proper merchant mariner’s credentials. In this case the vessel’s operator did have a captain’s license, however, the vessel lacked a Certificate of Inspection and other necessary requirements to operate as a charter for hire with more than six passengers,” said Cmdr Jose Perez, with Coast Guard Sector Miami prevention department. “As operators carrying passengers for hire in excess of six passengers, the Coast Guard requires your vessel to have a Certificate of Inspection and have any individuals in a safety sensitive position enrolled in a drug and alcohol testing program as required by law”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations and over. Charters that violate a Captain of the Port Order can face over $94,000 in penalties. Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel are:

  • Up to $7,710 for failure of operators to be enrolled in a chemical testing program.
  • Up to $4,803 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers.
  • Up to $12,007 for failure to have been issued a valid Stability Letter prior to placing vessel in service with more than six passengers.
  • Up to $94,219 for every day of failure to comply with a Captain of the Port Order.

For more information on vessel safety checks and inspections please visit here.

For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For recent photographs follow us on Flickr.


If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.