Coast Guard halts illegal charter near Dodge Island

A 44-foot pleasure craft moored near Dodge Island, Nov. 4, 2019. The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 44-foot pleasure craft with three people aboard after discovering multiple violations during a boarding. (Coast Guard Photo)

The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 44-foot pleasure craft with three people aboard after discovering multiple violations during a boarding. (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 44-foot pleasure craft with three people aboard in the vicinity of Dodge Island, Monday.

A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boatcrew boarding team conducted the boarding of a pleasure craft and discovered the following violations:

  1. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  2. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 24.05 for operating as an uninspected passenger vessel.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.7 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 net tons.
  4. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 25.25-5(b) for failure to have appropriate personal flotation devices.
  5. Violation of 33 C.F.R. 83.23 for failure to display navigational lights.

“The Coast Guard will continue to aggressively pursue vessel operators who place the lives of passengers at risk by not complying with Coast Guard passenger vessel regulations,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Harrison Wilhelm, a Station Miami Beach boarding officer. “Before you step off the pier and onto a boat you charter, you should ask to see the captain’s boating license, request to see their certificate of inspection and their safety plan.”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of over $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations. Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel are:

  • Up to $7,710 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  • Up to $16,398 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 net tons.
  • Up to $7,710 for failure to have appropriate personal flotation devices.
  • Up to $14,910 for failure to display navigational lights.


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