Tampa, Fla.- The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of an overloaded 24-ft recreational dive vessel, the Sunset 6, operating on the Crystal River at 2 p.m. today.

A Coast Guard boarding team from Coast Guard Station Yankeetown, Fla., boarded the vessel and found the owner/operator to be operating outside the parameters of his license. The owner/operator holds a captain’s license allowing him to carry six passengers aboard the dive vessel. The boarding team found the vessel to be carrying 13 passengers (including one child) and with only a single serviceable life preserver on board. The owner was cited for failure to have a valid Certificate of Inspection and operating in a negligent manner that endangers life, limb or property of a person. The Coast Guard immediately ordered the vessel to return to dock.

The owner of the Sunset 6 was issued an initial notice of violation in the amount of $5,750.

To help ensure the safety of passengers, federal regulations require that a passenger vessel for hire undergo stringent safety inspections in order receive a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection. These inspections ensure that the vessel’s seaworthiness, safety equipment and crew competencies meet current safety standards.

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