Coast Guard: Operator in Detroit River grounding had invalid credential

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(DETROIT) — Coast Guard Sector Detroit initiated administrative enforcement action Tuesday against the operating company of the visiting cruise ship Yorktown and a licensed mariner following an investigation into the grounding that occurred this summer in the Detroit River.

The passenger vessel Yorktown, a 216-foot cruise ship with 120 passengers on board, ran aground in the Detroit River, north of Fighting Island, while transiting to Cleveland, Aug. 25, 2012.

The incident did not result in damage to the vessel, pollution or injuries to the passengers or vessel crew.

The Coast Guard investigation into the grounding concluded that the licensed mariner operating the Yorktown at the time of the grounding made serious errors in judgment due to his lack in waterway familiarization and understanding.  The investigation concluded that the mariner’s First Class Pilot endorsement to his Coast Guard issued license was invalid for the waters where the grounding occurred, due to his failure to meet the regulatory currency of knowledge provisions.

Coast Guard Sector Detroit is seeking to suspend the mariner’s Coast Guard license for negligent operations which resulted in the grounding of the vessel, and for serving as a pilot without a valid endorsement on his license.

In addition, the operating company, V Ships Leisure USA, has been issued a $3,000 penalty for failure to have a properly certified pilot on board.  Sector Detroit reminds vessel operating companies of their responsibility for ensuring that the individuals manning their vessels meet the proper licensing requirements for the waterways where their vessels transit. 

The Coast Guard investigates allegations of violations of the laws and regulations promulgated to promote marine safety and pursue enforcement action against parties found to be in violation.

By Professional Mariner Staff