Coast Guard halts illegal charter operation in Baker’s Haulover Inlet

MIAMI — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of the 39-foot pleasure craft Down Under with seven passengers aboard Saturday in Baker’s Haulover Inlet after discovering multiple safety violations.

After being notified of the vessel by Customs and Border Protection a Coast Guard Station Station Miami Beach 33-foot Special Purpose Craft—Law Enforcement crew conducted a boarding of the vessel and discovered the following violations:

  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 15.515B for failure to have a credentialed mariner in control.

“Illegal charters can be very dangerous and it’s important that people educate themselves on what to look for in a charter to avoid any unnecessary risk,” said Lt. Raymond Heberlig, commanding officer of Station Miami Beach. “It’s important that people looking to charter a boat verify the captain’s license and safety of the vessel.” 

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $41,456 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations. Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel are:

  • Up to $18,477 for failure of an inspected vessel to be under the control of an individual with the appropriate Coast Guard license.
  • Up to $7,250 for failure of operators to be enrolled in a chemical testing program.
  • Up to $23,436 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers.
  • Up to $15,995 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over 5 gross tons.