Coast Guard fines Woods Hole and Block Island ferry jumpers

The U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast office announced today that investigators from Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England have issued two notices of violation last month with proposed penalties of $2,500 each to two individuals for intentionally jumping over ferry railings in June and July.

The act of intentionally jumping into the water from a passenger vessel is considered interfering with the safe operation of the vessel, a violation of 46 United States Code, Section 2302.

The penalties for this violation can be up to $35,000. These fines are the Coast Guard’s response to action taken from investigative reports provided by the Falmouth Police Department, and New Shoreham Police Department who responded to the scene after being contacted by the masters of the ferries.

Luke Garrity, 18, is accused of jumping off the Island Queen in Falmouth on June 23, 2019. The ferry is owned by Island Commuter Corp.

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Andrew Myers, 19, is accused of jumping off the Anna C in Block Island, Rhode Island on July 28, 2019. The ferry is owned by Interstate Navigation Company.

“Jumping into the water from a certificated passenger vessel, such as a tour boat or charter vessel, is not only dangerous for the person jumping, but it also endangers the lives of others onboard,” said Commander Brian McSorley, deputy sector commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England in a press release. “Commercial passenger vessel crews 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 in order to try and retrieve the jumper from the water.”

All Coast Guard certificated small passenger vessels undergo thorough safety inspections that include testing the crew’s competence to recover a man overboard. In both of these case the crews performed their man overboard emergency recovery in accordance with their procedures.

Upon receipt of Notice to Violations, recipients have 45-days to appeal the fine.