Coast Guard halts illegal charter operation at Fishermans Channel

Passengers aboard the 29-foot pleasure craft wait while a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat – Medium Enforcement boat crew aproaches to it to start a courtesy boarding. The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 29-foot pleasure craft with nine people aboard June 8, 2019 at Fishermans Channel after discovering multiple violations.

Passengers aboard the 29-foot pleasure craft wait while a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Enforcement boat crew aproaches to it to start a courtesy boarding.

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 29-foot pleasure craft with nine people aboard Wednesday at Fishermans Channel after discovering multiple violations.

A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium Enforcement boat crew conducted the boarding of a 29-foot Sea Ray vessel at Fishermans Channel where they 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. 176.100A for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid Stability Letter.

“Owners and operators who engage in illegal charter operations endanger the very people who are paying for a safe and enjoyable time on the water,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Aaron L. Zimmer, Coast Guard Sector Miami Command Master Chief. “I want to remind people that before getting underway, ask to see the captain’s credentials, vessel inspection certificate, and safety plan. If there is any doubt, don’t go. Don’t put your life and the lives of your family and friends in the hands of an unlicensed operator.”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations. 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 $16,398 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 gross tons.
  • 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.

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