NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — A 19-year-old man is facing a $2,500 fine from the U.S. Coast Guard after allegedly jumping off of the Block Island ferry on July 28.
Andrew Myers is accused of jumping off the Anna C in Block Island. The ferry is owned by Interstate Navigation Company.
Myers is one of two people the Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England said received notices of violation last month for intentionally jumping over ferry railings.
Luke Garrity, 18, is accused of jumping off the Island Queen in Falmouth on June 23. The ferry is owned by Island Commuter Corp. He received a notice of violation as well.
Upon receipt of notice of violations, recipients have 45 days to appeal the fine.
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 Coast Guard said.
“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 on board,” Commander Brian McSorley, deputy sector commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, said.
“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,” he said.
Penalties for a violation can be as much as $35,000. The 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.
All Coast Guard certificated small passenger vessels undergo thorough safety inspections that include testing the crew’s competence to recover a person that has fallen overboard, the Coast Guard said.
In both incidents, the crews performed their overboard emergency recovery in accordance with procedures, the Coast Guard said.