The second time within a month the boat has been caught
An unlicensed charter captain was arrested in Miami after the U.S. Coast Guard terminated the voyage of Breaking the Habit, a 45-foot pleasure craft.
Angel Jose Limongi offered his boat to anyone who wanted to spend $1,000 or more to cruise around Biscayne Bay. For that price, he would set the party up with a captain and arrange a charter.
There was just one problem — he had no authority to do so. And that landed him in serious trouble.
The vessel had 12 passengers aboard when the Coast Guard discovered it on Saturday near American Airlines Arena.
Seven violations were listed as part of a news release from the Coast Guard.
No license? It’s going to be a bad time
Unlicensed charters aren’t anything new in Miami.
But that doesn’t mean the Coast Guard is letting anyone off the hook for not having proper documentation.
Illegal charters put people’s lives at risk who use them. Unlicensed captains putting the lives of others at risk is something Miami officials know all too well.
“The Coast Guard will continue to aggressively pursue vessel operators who place the lives of patrons at risk by not complying with Coast Guard passenger vessel regulations,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ricky Perilla, Boarding Officer at Coast Guard Station Miami Beach. “Using unqualified operators puts yourself, passengers and other boaters in danger. Before you step off the pier onto a boat you charter, you should ask to see the captain’s boating license, request to see their certificate of inspection and their safety plan.”
If getting properly licensed doesn’t sound like a big deal, just remember a small fee or two can save an individual from potential jail time and some serious fines.
According to the Coast Guard, “Owners and operators of illegal charter vessels can face maximum civil penalties of over $59,000 for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations. Charters that violate a Captain of the Port Order can face over $94,000 in penalties.”