rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

USCG: Unlicensed Charters - Bad News for Everyone

A U.S. Coast Guard inspector at work in the field. Image Credit: USCG / Anthony L Soto

Posted by Michelle Howard

The Coast Guard is reminding the public that unlicensed vessel charters are both illegal and unsafe to consumers.

Hiring an unlicensed charter is dangerous because the charter may not have the proper emergency safety gear, navigation and communication gear, and may not have undergone the proper license exams and inspections which are put in place to ensure passenger and crew safety.

Legal passenger vessel operations fall into one of these three categories:

  • Uninspected Passenger Vessel: Can carry up to six passengers and must be operated by a credentialed mariner.
  • Small Passenger Vessel: Can carry more than six passengers, must hold a Coast Guard issued Certificate of Inspection, be inspected by the Coast Guard annually, and must be operated by a credentialed mariner.
  • Bareboat Charter: Can carry up to twelve passengers and the customer must hire the operator.
  • Passenger vessel operators must adhere to safety regulations set forth by the Coast Guard. Violators are subject to civil penalties and/or a captain of the port order. Failure to comply with the captain of the port order may result in a civil penalty of up to $94,219 for each day of continued operation. A willful and knowing violation of this order constitutes a Class D felony, which may lead to jail time up to 10 years and a fine up to $250,000.


When the Coast Guard encounters a boat that is not in compliance with regulations, measures will be taken to bring the vessel and operator into compliance. Those measures may include education, verbal or written warnings, civil penalties, vessel voyage termination, arrest or vessel seizure.

When reserving boats, prospective passengers should ask the operator in advance for proof the vessel and captain are compliant with Coast Guard requirements. Availability on a website is not a guarantee of regulatory compliance.

For more information on how to verify if a charter is properly inspected and licensed, or to report suspected illegal charter activities, contact your local Coast Guard sector.

Editor's note: The content of this blog post was taken from a news release issued June 3, 2019, by the Coast Guard's 8th District Public Affairs Office.


Jun 7, 2019

 

Coast Guard

Italian Prosecutor Orders Open Arms Boat to be Seized

An Italian prosecutor ordered to seize the Open Arms ship that has been stranded at sea by the Italian island of Lampedusa for the past 19 days with almost 100 migrants aboard

Wallem Bulker Rescues Indonesian Fishermen

Rescued fishermen and ISL Star crew (Photo: Wallem)

ISL Star, a bulk carrier managed by Wallem Group, together with the U.S. Coast Guard successfully

Ferry Runs Aground in Boston Harbor

Coast Guard Station Point Allerton crew members respond during the grounding of the ferry Lightening in Boston Harbor, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Point Allerton)

Four people were injured Friday morning when a Boston-bound ferry ran aground off Long Island in

Maritime Safety

Survitec, MRT Collaborate on Constant Wear Lifejacket

Pic:  Survitec

Two safety equipment specialists - Survitec and Marine Rescue Technologies (MRT) - have created a

Iranian Tanker Not Heading to Greece

An Iranian tanker which the United States wants seized is not heading towards Greece as it sails through the Mediterranean, Greek Prime Minister Kyrikos Mitsotakis told France 24

Stena Impero Owner Met Iran's Zarif to Urge Release of UK-flagged Ship

┬ęTommy Chia/ MarineTraffic.com

The owner of a British-flagged tanker detained in Iran has met the country's foreign minister

Maritime Apps