An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Press Release | April 21, 2024

Coast Guard prohibits several rental boats from getting underway after dockside examinations

MIAMI – Investigating officers from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West prohibited the operation of six rental vessels operated by a marina in Marathon, Florida, during a joint operation with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Wednesday.

The operation was in response to a concerning recent trend of search and rescue cases being conducted for rental vessels from that operator.

In response to this trend, Coast Guard and FWC officers conducted an unannounced visit to the marina and examined 13 vessels. Six of the vessels had significant safety issues that would have resulted in voyage terminations and monetary fines if boarded by law enforcement while underway, such as inadequate firefighting equipment, material conditions that presented flooding concerns, and fire hazards. As a result, Coast Guard Sector Key West issued Captain of the Port orders to those six vessels prohibiting them from being used as rentals until they are in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The operator immediately began correcting the deficiencies and scheduled voluntary dockside vessel safety checks by the Coast Guard Auxiliary for the rest of their fleet. FWC concurrently issued citations for non-compliance with Florida Statute 327.54 related to requirements for livery operations.

“The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers voluntary dockside vessel safety checks on all recreational and uninspected passenger vessels,” said Cmdr. Stanley Fields, Sector Key West deputy commander. “I encourage all boaters to arrange these free, no penalty examinations with a Coast Guard Auxiliarist.  Being proactive in safety will not only avoid unexpected operational interruptions, but most importantly – it can save lives.”

To contact your nearest Coast Guard Auxiliarist for a free boating safety examination, please visit for more information.  

For breaking news, follow us on "X" (formerly Twitter). For additional information, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or follow Sector Miami on their unit Facebook and Instagram pages.