Coast Guard stops illegal charter near the Julia Tuttle Causeway

A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement team boards the vessel, Rabble Rouser, near Julia Tuttle Causeway, Florida, Nov. 1, 2020. The vessel voyage was terminated after the crew found several violations including the violation of a prior Captain of the Port Order. (Coast Guard Photo)

A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement team boards the vessel, Rabble Rouser, near Julia Tuttle Causeway, Florida, Nov. 1, 2020. (Coast Guard Photo)

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated an illegal charter of the vessel, Rabble Rouser, Sunday near the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement team conducted a boarding of the Rabble Rouser with 14 people aboard, 12 were passengers for hire, operating as an illegal small passenger vessel.

The yacht’s voyage was terminated and cited for 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. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  3. Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.
  4. Violation of 33 C.F.R. 160.105 for violating a Captain of the Port Order.

“Before getting underway on a bareboat charter, ensure you have the bareboat charter agreement with each item you are paying for reflected on the agreement,” said Lt. j.g. Jody Stiger, marine investigator at Coast Guard Sector Miami. “Also, ensure you have the option to choose your captain/crew.”

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 passengers for hire.
  • Up to $95,881 for every day of failure to comply with a Captain of the Port Order.

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