Captain Facing Unlicensed Operation Charges After Ship Sinks
According to a report in Professional Mariner magazine, the captain of a catamaran that capsized has been charged with operating without a license. There were 30 passengers onboard when the custom-built boat sank near downtown Miami.
Prior to sinking, the catamaran began to take on water as it was returning to Miami from a Columbus Day boating party in Biscayne Bay, an annual event that attracts hundreds of boats and thousands of people.
“The vessel was about 200 yards from Key Biscayne when it started listing, causing some of the passengers and a dog to fall overboard,” said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss, spokesperson for Sector Miami.
Once the ship began to sink, several vessels responded, including local police and fire, the Coast Guard, good Samaritans, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Sea Tow.
“They were very fortunate so many law enforcement agencies were in the area,” said Jorge Pino, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson.
Following an investigation, it was determined that the 50-year-old captain of the catamaran was operating without a commercial license at the time of the accident. In addition, he failed to salvage his catamaran for nearly a month after it sank. The authorities, ultimately, had to salvage the vessel, for which they billed the 50 year old.
The captain is facing a $500 fine and six months in jail for operating without a license and an additional $500 fine and six months in jail for failing to salvage his ship.
Should I Talk to an Insurance Company After a Boating Accident?
As maritime attorney David Anderson explains in the video above, if you have been in an accident on the water, you should not give a statement to the insurance company until you have talked to a lawyer about your situation. Even if you are not going to hire an attorney, maritime law is very complex and having a lawyer explain your rights and options is never a bad idea.
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Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: According to the Safe Boating Campaign, in 2012, there were 509 boating accidents caused by flooding/swamping.
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