Coast Guard halts illegal charter near New River Triangle

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated an illegal charter Saturday near New River Triangle.

A Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale boarding team with the assistance of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conducted a boarding of the vessel, Salty Daddy, and discovered the following violations:

  1. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100(a) for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  2. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.515(b) for not having a credentialed mariner in control while operating as a small passenger vessel.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.
  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. 15.401(a) for failure to employ an appropriately credentialed mariner.
  6. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.7 for failure of a vessel of greater than 5 gross tons to have a Certificate of Documentation while in Coastwise trade.

A Captain of the Port Order will be issued.

“We urge bareboat patrons to review and become familiar with the charter regulations before paying for one,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christian Matranca, boarding officer at Station Fort Lauderdale. “Anyone paying for a trip on a traditional passenger vessel should ask to see the Merchant Mariner Credential of the boat operator to verify their captain is properly licensed by the Coast Guard. If the captain can’t produce their license, don’t get on the boat.” In this instance, the operator of the vessel had his Merchant Mariner’s Credential recently revoked by the Coast Guard.

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of: $60,000 or over for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations. Charters that violate a Captain of the Port Order can face over $95,000. Some potential civil penalties for illegally operating a charter vessel are:

  • Up to $7,846 for failure of operators to be enrolled in a chemical testing program.
  • Up to $4,888 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers for hire.
  • Up to $16,687 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 gross tons.
  • Up to $12,219 for failure to have been issued a valid Stability Letter prior to placing vessel in service with more than passengers for hire.
  • Up to $95,881 for every day of failure to comply with a Captain of the Port Order.

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