Coast Guard fines Bayfield ferry jumpers
The U.S. Coast Guard initiated civil action Wednesday against two men who jumped from a Madeline Island Ferry Line boat in July. The enforcement action is the result of an investigation of an incident involving the men, ages 22 and 25, who author...
The U.S. Coast Guard initiated civil action Wednesday against two men who jumped from a Madeline Island Ferry Line boat in July.
The enforcement action is the result of an investigation of an incident involving the men, ages 22 and 25, who authorities say deliberately jumped from the ferry as it entered the harbor in Bayfield on July 31, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth reported Thursday in a news release.
The Coast Guard did not identify the men, who had been apprehended by local authorities following the incident.
An investigation into the incident by the Coast Guard determined that the men’s “deliberate jumping overboard as the vessel approached Bayfield harbor interfered with the safe operation of the ferry.
“Their actions at such a critical point in the vessel’s transit unnecessarily placed the vessel and passengers in a dangerous situation.”
Federal law prohibits interfering with the safe operation of a vessel and could result in up to a $25,000 penalty. As such, the Coast Guard took civil penalty action “to ensure the incident does not occur again,” the news release said, while failing to identify the amount of the monetary penalty.
There were no injuries as a result of the incident.
The Coast Guard explained in the news release that jumping from a moving vessel forces the captain to follow a vessel’s man overboard procedures, requiring the captain to immediately maneuver the vessel in a position to allow the crew to safely recover the person in the water. This maneuver could put other passengers and crewmembers at risk for potential injury and impedes the safe navigation of a regulated waterway.