Coast Guard halts illegal charter operation in Miami

Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo

Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 45-foot Response Boat-Medium file photo

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a 23-foot Hurricane vessel with 12 passengers aboard Monday at the 79th Boat Ramp for conducting an illegal charter.

Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received a notification from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agents reporting that they had stopped a possible illegal charter.

A Coast Guard Station Miami 45-foot Response Boat–Medium boatcrew conducted the boarding of the 23-foot Hurricane 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. 176.100(A), not having a valid Certification of Inspection
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120, failure to have a Stability Letter issued before the vessel is placed in service
  4. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.515, failure to have appropriate merchant mariner credential

“This collaborative effort with FWC contributes to our ability to respond, extending our law enforcement capabilities,” said Cmdr. Jose Perez, head of Sector Miami prevention department, “These illegal charters go out on the water without the proper documentation and certifications and are putting the safety of the passengers at risk”

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 $18,943 for failure of an inspected vessel to be under the control of an individual with the appropriate Coast Guard license.
  • 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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