The US Coast Guard issued a $5,000 fine to a passenger that jumped from the charter fishing vessel Bass Tub into the waters off Muir Beach on June 22, 2015.
The man allegedly jumped off the vessel as part of a dare from his friends, who were also aboard the vessel. The vessel’s crew safely recovered the jumper, who was not injured.
Jumping overboard from a passenger vessel, such as a tour boat or ferry, is not only dangerous for the person jumping, but it endangers the lives of others as well.
USCG stated that the crewmembers of commercial passenger vessel are responsible for the safety of all passengers aboard their vessels, and in this case, their attention was diverted away from the safe operation of the vessel when they were forced to retrieve the jumper from the sea.
Jumping into the water, while the vessel is sailing, put jumpers in risk, because they could get sucked into the vessel’s propellers or drown from the effects of cold water shock, swimming failure and hypothermia.
The act of jumping into the water from a passenger vessel is considered interfering with the safe operation of the vessel, which is a violation of US Maritime Law (46 United States Code, Section 2302).
The penalty for violating this law is a fine of up to $30,000, which depends on the circumstances of the violation.