By Mark Edward Nero
Two men who intentionally jumped off the passenger vessel Spirit of Seattle last month face up to penalties of $2,500 each after being issued notices of violation, the captain of the port for the US Coast Guard’s Puget Sound sector said July 6.
Coast Guard investigating officers said that Nathan Keel of Tempe, Ariz. and Chanda Jatinder of Mesa, Ariz., were aboard the underway vessel on June 5 when they jumped over the rail and into the water.
Crewmembers from the vessel, which had more than 300 passengers aboard, immediately responded and recovered the individuals, according to the Coast Guard. Neither of the men suffered injuries.
Coast Guard officials have said they’re seeking penalties for violation of section 46 USC 2302 (a) of the Code of Federal Regulations, regarding interfering with the safe operations of a vessel so as to endanger the life, limb or property of a person.
“Intentionally jumping off a commercial vessel is extremely dangerous and diverts the crewmembers’ attention away from the safe operation of the vessel,” Puget Sound Sector Captain of the Port Joe Raymond said. “I have directed my staff to investigate each of these incidents and issue violations as appropriate.”