Coast Guard cracks down on party boats in Fort Lauderdale, Miami-Dade

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

MIAMI - The U.S. Coast Guard cut short the voyages of two party boats in Fort Lauderdale and Miami-Dade County this weekend over several safety issues, authorities said.

Coast Guard ordered the 34-foot Sunset Stripp with 12 people aboard to return to shore Saturday. The Coast Guard said the vessel, which was near the Beer Can Island area of the Intracoastal Waterway, did not have a valid certificate of inspection and lacked a drug-and-alcohol testing program for its crew. 

The Coast Guard also stopped a 32-foot pleasure craft with 11 people aboard Saturday in Haulover Inlet in Miami-Dade County for similar infractions.

The charter boat operators could face tens of thousands of dollar's worth of fines, the Coast Guard said.

“Illegal passenger vessel operations pose a direct, serious safety problem to the passengers onboard and others operating on the water,” Cmdr. Bradley Clare said. "The Coast Guard will continue to enforce the law to ensure passenger safety and hold violators accountable." 

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