Coast Guard halts illegal charter operation at Caxambas Park

A 26-foot sailing vessel moored at Caxambas Park, Florida, Mar. 28, 2019. Coast Guard Sector Marine Safety Detachment Fort Meyers law enforcement officers noticed the captain of the sailing vessel, which is only rated for six passengers, disembarking seven and discovered multiple violations. (Coast Guard Photo)

A 26-foot sailing vessel moored at Caxambas Park, Florida, Mar. 28, 2019. (Coast Guard Photo)

FORT MEYERS, Fla. — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 26-foot sailing vessel with seven people aboard Wednesday at Caxambas Park after discovering multiple violations.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Fort Meyers law enforcement officers noticed the captain of the sailing vessel, which is only rated for six passengers, disembarking seven 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.

“We will continue to be on the lookout for illegal charters on Florida’s west coast,” said Lt. Cmdr. Byron Rios, prevention officer at Coast Guard 7th District. “We will seek maximum penalties for people who willfully choose to endanger others through these illegal operations.”

The Coast Guard can initiate suspension and revocation action against a licensed captain who commits violations. Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $42,394 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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