For seven people, a trip on the catamaran named Shared Adventure in the waters near Fort Lauderdale ended up being a stopped adventure when the U.S. Guard came aboard.
The 47-foot catamaran was stopped Sunday for a safety check. There were seven passengers aboard.
Crews found that the operators were conducting an illegal charter and had several violations, including not having a valid certificate of inspection and not having the appropriate merchant mariner credential.
“Illegal charters violate the safety of people’s lives at sea within the maritime domain, and the safety of lives at sea is our top priority,” said Lt. j.g. Peter Hutchinson, executive officer of Station Fort Lauderdale, in a news release.
Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels may face fines up to nearly $60,000 for violations, the Coast Guard said.
Hutchinson said a person chartering a boat must make sure the person or company is operating legally.
“Before you step aboard, get underway or even pay for a chartered vessel, ask the captain to see his or her credentials, inspection certificate and vessel safety plan,” he said in the release. “You have the right to see these items, because you are putting your life at risk and in danger when you get underway on a vessel without a properly credentialed mariner. That risk isn’t worth your life.”