Coast Guard stops illegal charter near Palm Beach

A Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement team conducts a boarding of the 51-foot vessel, Diamond D, near Palm Beach, Jan. 02, 2020. The vessel had 14 people aboard, 12 were passengers for hire and two crew members operating as an illegal small passenger vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement team conducts a boarding of the 51-foot vessel, Diamond D, near Palm Beach, Jan. 02, 2020.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated an illegal charter of the 51-foot vessel, Diamond D, Saturday near Palm Beach.

A Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement team conducted a boarding of the vessel with 14 people aboard: 12 were passengers for hire and two crew members operating as an illegal small passenger vessel.

The voyage was terminated and cited for the following violations:

  1. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100(a)- for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  2. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120- for failure to have a valid stability letter.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.7- for failure to have a valid Certificate of Documentation on a vessel over five net tons.
  4. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201- for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.

“Before you step aboard a vessel ask to see the captain’s credentials and the vessel’s certificate of inspection to ensure it has all required safety equipment necessary in case of an emergency,” said Lt. Christopher Mosquera, Marine Safety Detachment Lake Worth investigating officer. “For a bareboat charter the owner can provide a list of captains to choose from, allowing the charterer to have complete control in selecting a captain and crew they want.”

Owners and operators of illegal passenger vessels can face maximum civil penalties of: $60,000 or over for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations. Charters that violate a Captain of the Port Order can face over $95,000. Some potential civil penalties for illegally operating a passenger vessel are:

  • Up to $7,846 for failure of operators to be enrolled in a chemical testing program.
  • Up to $4,888 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers for hire.
  • Up to $16,687 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 gross tons.
  • Up to $12,219 for failure to have been issued a valid Stability Letter prior to placing vessel in service with more than six passengers for hire.
  • Up to $95,881 for every day of failure to comply with a Captain of the Port Order.

For more information about bareboat charters, please click here.

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