Man fined for jumping off ferry
A man who jumped off the Block Island ferry while it was docking in Old Harbor has been fined $2,500 by the U.S. Coast Guard.
According to a press releases issued by the Coast Guard, “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.” (Another man, Luke Garrity, was fined the same amount for jumping off the Island Queen in Falmouth, Mass. on June 23, 2019. That ferry is owned by Island Commuter Corp.)
“A kid jumped off the Traditional ferry and swam across Old Harbor where he was apprehended by Police Chief Vin Carlone,” said Bill McCombe, who is head of security for Interstate Navigation. “We take this very seriously. What might seem to be a funny and benign stunt to a group of people is extremely dangerous.” There is equipment on the boat that can cause serious injury or death, said McCombe. “So we report all acts to the Coast Guard, including acts like this one, and prosecute to the full extent.”
“When someone jumps off a ferry the Coast Guard classifies it as ‘rail jumping,’” said McCombe, who noted that the act “is very rare.”
The Coast Guard noted in its press release that: “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.”
“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. “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.”
Upon receipt of a Coast Guard notice of violation, recipients have 45 days to appeal the fine.