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Coast Guard halts illegal charter near Courtney Cambell Causesway

The boat had been boarded before. This time the Coast Guard said it found eight passengers on board.
A 29-foot illegal charter boat was boarded and halted by the Coast Guard near the Courtney Campbell Causeway on Friday.
A 29-foot illegal charter boat was boarded and halted by the Coast Guard near the Courtney Campbell Causeway on Friday. [ U.S. Coast Guard Southeast ]
Published Feb. 14
Updated Feb. 14

ST. PETERSBURG — A 29-foot illegal charter boat carrying eight passengers was boarded and shut down Friday by the Coast Guard.

The boat was operating near the Courtney Campbell Causeway when it was intercepted by a 29-foot response boat out of the Sector St. Petersburg base, according to the Coast Guard.

The vessel, whose owner was not named by the Coast Guard, had been boarded and inspected before.

Related: Coast Guard halts 47-foot boat operating illegal charter off Tierra Verde

In Friday’s inspection, the boat was cited for three violations: It did not have a valid certificate of inspection, did not have a drug and alcohol program and had ignored a previous “Captain of the Port Order,” or previous order issued by a Coast Guard commander.

The Coast Guard did not release the amount of the fine issued to the boat’s operator.

Illegal passenger vessels can face maximum civil penalties of $60,000 or more for illegal passenger-for-hire-operations, however, and over $95,000 in penalties for not complying with an order from the Coast Guard.