Coast Guard halts illegal charter operation in Miami over weekend

yacht Golden Touch II

yacht Golden Touch II

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 147-foot yacht Golden Touch II with 47 people aboard in the vicinity of Nixon Beach Sunday after discovering several safety issues, including carrying more paying passengers than they were certified to carry aboard the vessel.

A Coast Guard Station Miami 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boatcrew conducted the boarding of the Golden Touch II in the vicinity of Nixon Beach where they discovered 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.

“Tragically people have lost their lives on illegal charters, as was seen in the case of the vessel Jaguar in the Tampa Bay area and in the case of the Miami Vice yacht in Miami,” said Capt. Ladonn Allen, chief of Coast Guard 7th District prevention department. “The unsafe atmospheres that these types of companies and unlicensed captains, who knowingly engage in illegal activity, create on their boats show a complete disregard for passenger safety and have been responsible for multiple deaths in Florida alone. We cannot stress enough to anyone looking to charter a boat to verify the captain’s license and safety of the vessel.”

The owner and operator of the Golden Touch II faces maximum civil penalties amounting up to $41,456 for this illegal passenger for hire operation.

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