USCG terminates illegal charter boat voyage

Written by Marine Log Staff
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A Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement boat crew conducted a boarding of the 42-foot pleasure craft, Momentum 2, with 31 people aboard June 13, 2020 in the vicinity of Miami Marine Stadium. The station crew terminated the voyage of the Momentum 2 for multiple safety violations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Peter Martinez)

The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 42-foot pleasure craft, Momentum 2, with 31 people aboard, Saturday, in the vicinity of Miami Marine Stadium.

While on patrol, a Coast Guard Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement boat crew conducted a boarding of the Momentum 2 and discovered the following violations:

  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100(a) for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.515(b) for not having a credentialed mariner in control while operating a small passenger vessel.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  • Violation of 33 C.F.R. 175.15(a) (1) failures to have sufficient personal flotation devices as required.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.7 for failure of a vessel of greater than 5 gross tons to have a Certificate of Documentation while in Coastwise trade.

“Before you step onto a chartered vessel, ask to see the captain’s credentials and certificate of inspection as well as ensuring they have enough life jackets aboard for everyone,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Newman, a command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Miami. “If there is any doubt, don’t go. The risk of putting your family and friends in the hands of an unlicensed operator can be dangerous and potentially fatal.”

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.
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