NEW YORK — In July, two people died in a tragic boating accident on the Hudson River .
Reports say that overcrowding may have been an issue, but the investigation is ongoing.
For the U. S. Coast Guard , illegal charter boats have long been an important focus as they patrol the Hudson.
“A lot of people don’t understand the concern associated with the safety until something tragic like that happens, ” Boatswain Michael McGinley said.
McGinley was referring to the deadly boating incident in which a 7-year-old child and 47-year-old woman were killed when their boat capsized in the particular choppy waters.
The U. S. Coast Guard regularly conducts random checks to make sure all precautions are in place. CBS2’s Mary Calvi went along as they patrolled the waters.
A 45-foot rescue boat pulled alongside a fishing charter, the crew boarding as part of a routine safety inspection.
“As far as potential illegal passenger vessel, the items that we would also be looking into would be credentialed Mariner on board, ” Lt. Hayden Veech said.
Veech is a Marine investigator who says that’s mandatory for a captained charter for six or fewer people.
Documents were handed over, and an inspection for fire extinguishers, flares and other safety equipment was also conducted. The charter was deemed in compliance, plus one of the fishermen even made his catch, but the Coast Guard remain on alert for potential red flags.
“We’re seeing it more and more, especially on social media outlets of that will sort, ” Veech said. “People are finding new ways to create businesses. ”
The lieutenant says the Coastline Guard monitors sites like Sailo and Boatsetter, checking the validity of advertised vessels and sharing questionable information with boarding teams.
“It could say, we carry 18 people, and this, that and another, and we know from our data and information, they are usually not inspected, ” Veech said.
“The greatest danger is over capacity, not having the correct safety gear and not paying attention to what is required, ” said Derek Severns, acting operations officer associated with Sector Nyc. “Since This summer 1st, we’ve conducted 14 recreational boating safety missions, over 50 hours of underway time on the particular water. ”
Since Come july 1st, the Coast Guard has terminated three charters for safety violations.
The owner and captain of another boat the crew boarded says Coast Guard inspections are nothing new and adds he knows how important they are, having seen some dangerous activity.
“You can spot who’s familiar, who’s not familiar on the particular water. Just bad news, things waiting to happen, ” he said.
The boating family has been also in compliance, the captain adding he’s thankful to have the Coastline Guard here making sure everyone is safe.
“We’re now family, ” he joked.
Experts say boaters should make sure their own operator has a merchant Mariner’s credential and that will the boat meets all safety requirements, including having flares and lifejackets.