Photo Available: Coast Guard terminates illegal charter near Davis Islands

united states coast guard 

News Release  

U.S. Coast Guard 7th District PA Detachment Tampa Bay
Contact: Coast Guard PA Detachment Tampa Bay
PA Detachment Tampa Bay online newsroom

Coast Guard terminates illegal charter near Davis Islands

Coast Guard terminates illegal charter near Davis Island

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. —The Coast Guard terminated an illegal charter near Davis Islands, Florida Thursday.

A Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg 29-foot Response Boat – Small law enforcement crew, along
with Coast Guard Investigating Officers terminated the voyage of a 29-foot uninspected passenger
vessel with eight passengers for hire.

The violations include:
Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100 (a) for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
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 46 C.F.R. 170.120 for failure to have a valid stability letter.

Uninspected passenger vessels are only permitted by Coast Guard regulations to carry six passengers for
hire with a Merchant Mariner Credential. The vessel was escorted back to its original mooring.

"The Coast Guard will continue to aggressively pursue vessel operators who needlessly place the lives of
patrons at risk by not complying with Coast Guard passenger vessel regulations," said Mr. Brian Knapp,
Senior Investigating Officer at Coast Guard Sector Saint Petersburg. "We urge anyone paying for a trip
on a passenger vessel to ask to see the Merchant Mariner Credential of the vessel operator to verify
their captain is properly credentialed by the Coast Guard. If the operator cannot produce a Merchant
Mariner Credential, don’t get on the boat."

Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of over $50,000 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 $4,685 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.
Up to $11,712 for failure to have been issued a valid Stability Letter prior to placing vessel in service with

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