USCG terminates multiple illegal charters in Miami during Super Bowl week
The U.S. Coast Guard reports it terminated the voyages of multiple vessels operating as illegal charters in Miami waters during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIV.
Coast Guard Sector Miami boat crews, including multiple law enforcement teams brought in to assist this week, have been targeting illegal charter operations. Since Saturday, boarding teams have terminated the voyages of seven passenger vessels operating as illegal charters. These vessels were not in compliance with a multitude of passenger vessel regulations.
“Illegal operators typically use online platforms to sell their charters, leading customers to believe that the services being offered are legitimate and in full compliance with federal laws and regulations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, Coast Guard 7th District public affairs officer.”If you are visiting Miami this weekend, be extremely careful with who and how you book a trip on the water. Illegal charters are dangerous, the operators only care about your money, and not your safety.”
Illegal charters have resulted in property damage, injuries and three deaths in South Florida. On April 1, 2018, a passenger was fatally injured after being struck by a vessel’s propeller aboard the yacht Miami Vice, an illegal charter operating out of Miami. The operator was a non-credentialed mariner that failed to follow proper safety regulations, resulting in a person’s death.
The Coast Guard will continue to aggressively pursue illegal operators and hold them accountable. On average, the Coast Guard terminates 40 illegal passenger vessels a year, totaling more than $2 million in proposed penalties. Criminal prosecution of these illegal operators has been pursued when warranted.