USCG halts illegal charter in Miami
The U.S. Coast Guard says it has terminated the voyage of the 86-foot yacht, The Program, with 12 passengers aboard Thursday in the vicinity of the Miami Sea Buoy.
Coast Guard Cutter William Flores (WPC-1103) crewmembers conducted a boarding on the yacht and discovered the following violations:
Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.605, for failure to have appropriate Merchant Mariner Credentials
Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201, for failure to have a drug and alcohol program
Violation of 46 C.F.R 25 for an inadequate number of approved lifebuoys
“The Coast Guard will continue to aggressively pursue vessel operators who place the lives of passengers at risk by not complying with Coast Guard passenger vessel regulations. Safety is always the number one priority when out on the water,” said Lt. j.g. John Roddy, executive officer of the cutter Flores. “Unqualified operators puts yourself, passengers and other boaters in danger. Before you step off the pier onto a boat you charter, you should ask to see the captain’s boating license, request to see their certificate of inspection and their safety plan.”
Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of over $58,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations. Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel are:
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.