CHARLESTON, S.C. — The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies conducted a maritime law enforcement operation Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 from Carteret County, North Carolina, to Brevard County, Florida, that covered more than 500 miles of coastline, the Coast Guard 7th District said in a release.
Coast Guard crews conducted the operation in coordination with 104 partner agency units from several federal, state and local agencies. The operation focused on the education and enforcement of boating safety and maritime security throughout the Southeast.
“We thank each organization for the level of coordination and collaboration in planning and executing this year’s iteration of Operation Shrimp and Grits,” said Rear Adm. Eric Jones, commander of Coast Guard 7th District.
“The operational contributions to our collective missions of maritime security and marine safety, with special emphasis on enforcing compliance with passenger charter, living marine resources and recreational boating safety laws, go a long way toward achieving the objectives of each of our agencies. We trust the collaborative nature of these types of interagency operations will also contribute to our ability to respond holistically in times of crisis. Thank you all and Semper Paratus.”
During the operation, 62 law enforcement/fire vessels, 18 auxiliary vessels, two fixed-wing law enforcement aircraft, two auxiliary fixed-wing aircraft, five helicopters, 4 Civil Support Teams, an aircraft-mounted Mobile Detection System and a Transportation Security Administration surface inspection team were used.
Over the two-day operation, 568 vessel boardings were conducted resulting in 48 U.S. Coast Guard violations, 22 Department of Natural Resources and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission violations, 35 local police department citations, and 12 vessel terminations.
Violations were issued for various reasons, to include: BUI [boating under the influence], possession of controlled substances, fisheries violations, illegal charter enforcement and recreational boating safety.