Coast Guard halts illegal charter vessel near Aventura Fla.

A pontoon vessel is moored after his voyage was terminated due to multiple violations Thursday, March 21, 2019. Coast Guard Station Miami Beach crewmembers inspected the pontoon vessel near Aventura, Florida. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A pontoon vessel is moored after his voyage was terminated due to multiple violations Thursday, March 21, 2019.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of a pontoon boat with 13 passengers aboard Thursday near Aventura.

A Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boatcrew conducted the boarding of the pleasure craft near Aventura where they 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. 15.515B for not having a credentialed mariner in control while operating a small passenger vessel.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  4. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.

“The Coast Guard is actively on the look to stop illegal charter activities to prevent tragedies and guarantee the safety of the American public, said Petty Officer 1st Class Sarah Benton, a Coast Guard Sector Miami command center watchstander. “For the safety of the passengers aboard the vessel and other boaters transiting vessel operators need to be certified.”

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $58,389 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 the vessel in service with more than six passengers.


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