USCG halts illegal charter, rescues 2 on disabled jet ski near Venetian Causeway Bridge
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) says it interdicted an illegal charter Thursday while assisting two boaters in a disabled vessel near Venetian Causeway Bridge.
Coast Guard Sector Miami watchstanders received a report from a good Samaritan of a disabled jet ski with two people aboard pinned against a bridge piling. Watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement crew who assisted the jet skiers in maneuvering away from the bridge and back to the pontoon boat they were with. Once back, the Station Miami Beach boat crew conducted a routine boarding of the pontoon boat and determined it to be an illegal charter operation with three violations.
Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of over $50,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations. Additionally, credentialed mariners who operate vessels in a non-compliant manner risk having their license suspended and can face some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel.