Coast Guard ends yacht's voyage to Ultra Music Festival
Law enforcement officers target illegal charters near Virginia Key
VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. – There were a dozen people having fun on the 55-foot Sea Raven yacht near the Miami Marine Stadium Friday when the U.S. Coast Guard stopped the party.
The yacht, an Azimut charter motor boat with three cabins, was near the area where the Ultra Music Festival is being held when its voyage came to an end.
After an investigation, a law enforcement crew found three safety violations. According to authorities, they didn't have a drug and alcohol program, a valid certificate of inspection or a valid stability letter.
"It's very important to us that people are being safe out on the water," Cmdr. Jason Aleksak said in a statement.
Aleksak, the chief of response at the Coast Guard sector Miami, said that with Ultra taking place this weekend they are partnering with state and local authorities to prevent boating under the influence and illegal charters. Ultra will be attracting tens of thousands of fans daily to Virginia Key until Sunday.
The Coast Guard wants boaters to remember that the owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $58,389 for illegal passenger-for-hire operations.
Here is a list of possible fines:
• 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 more than six passengers.
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