U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Southeast
Coast Guard halts illegal charter
The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 37-foot pleasure craft, Bada Bing, with 12 passengers aboard Saturday near Monument Island.
Coast Guard boarding team conducted the boarding of the pleasure craft and discovered the following violations:
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100A for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.7 for a vessel of greater than 5 gross tons not having a certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsement.
- Violation of 33 C.F.R. 160.105 for failure to comply with a Captain of the Port Order.
“The Coast Guard will continue to aggressively pursue vessel operators who place the lives of patrons at risk by not complying with Coast Guard passenger vessel regulations,” said Cmdr. Jose Perez, marine inspector and department head of Coast Guard Sector Miami prevention. “I want to remind people that before getting underway, ask to see the captain’s credentials, vessel inspection certificate, and safety plan. If there is any doubt, don’t go. Don’t put your life and the lives of your family and friends in the hands of an unlicensed operator.”
Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations and over. Charters that violate a Captain of the Port Order can face over $94,000 in penalties. Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel are:
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.
Up to $94,219 for every day of failure to comply with a Captain of the Port Order.