COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- The Coast Guard says an unlicensed charter boat was stopped off Marco Island recently and had the voyage terminated due to improper licensing.
According to the Coast Guard, officers discovered the vessel advertising passenger cruises on Facebook and determined they were not operating in accordance with regulations.
A 29-foot Response Boat was dispatched and stopped the 23-foot vessel near Marco Island.
The following violations were noted during the boarding:
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.
“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,” says Brian Knapp, senior investigating officer at Coast Guard Sector Saint Petersburg.
If you suspect a passenger vessel is not legally operated, please call the Coast Guard at 727-824-7506 or 813-228-2191 ext. 8169.