The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of an illegal charter vessel operating in the vicinity of Newport Beach on Aug. 6, 2022.
A small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach discovered that the 50-foot pleasure craft, Yachtley Crue, was operating as an illegal charter with 12 passengers aboard and found the following violations:
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100 (a) for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 67.323 for operating in coastwise trade without the appropriate Certificate of Documentation endorsement
- Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a random drug testing program
Illegal charters are extremely dangerous to the public. Any captain operating a boat carrying paying passengers is required to hold a Coast Guard license and meet Coast Guard safety requirements. In addition, captains must have their Merchant Mariner Credential with them when paying passengers are on board. The Coast Guard urges passengers to ask to see their captain’s Merchant Mariner Credential. Additional Coast Guard requirements apply to Captains taking more than six passengers on a trip. Ask your captain if they comply with Coast Guard regulations.
“The Coast Guard will aggressively pursue any operator who is putting their customers at risk by operating outside these critical safety requirements,” said Captain Ryan Manning, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach commanding officer. “We urge anyone paying for a trip aboard a passenger vessel to ask to see the vessel operator’s Merchant Mariner Credential to verify they are properly licensed by the Coast Guard.”
Owners and operators of charter boats can face civil penalties for illegal charter operations. Some potential civil penalties for those charters are:
- Up to $5,254 for not having a valid Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers as per 46 U.S.C. 3318(j).
- Up to $20,719 for failure to operate a passenger vessel without a Coast Guard license as per 46 U.S.C. 8101(g)
- Up to $17, 935 for operating a coastwise trade without appropriate Certificate of Documentation endorsement as per 46 U.S.C. 12151(a)(1).
- Up to $8,433 for failure to have a random drug testing program as per 46 U.S.C. 2115
For additional recreational boating safety information, please visit the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2) at https://www.uscgboating.org.
Individuals with questions regarding passenger-for-hire regulations can contact the Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Investigations Division at (310) 521-3770 or email at [email protected]
Illegal charter operations can be reported to the Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Command Center at (310) 521-3801 or [email protected]
Alternatively, questions may be forwarded to Coast Guard District 11 Prevention, Inspections & Investigations office by email to [email protected]