U.S. Coast Guard officials recently stopped an illegal charter vessel in Shoreline Marina in Long Beach, Calif.
The Godfather, a 65-foot pleasure craft with 26 passengers, had a number of violations, including not having a valid certificate of inspection, not having a Coast Guard-licensed captain, running without the appropriate certificate of documentation endorsement and for failing to have a random drug testing program, according to USCG.
“The Coast Guard will aggressively pursue any operator who is putting their customers at risk by operating outside these critical safety requirements,” said Lt. Cmdr. Braden Rostad, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach’s Investigations Division Chief. “We urge anyone paying for a trip on a passenger vessel to ask to see the vessel operator’s Merchant Mariner Credential to verify they are properly licensed by the Coast Guard.”
Offenders can be penalized for running such charter vessels. For example, an owner or operate can be fined up to $4,888 for not having a valid Coast Guard certificate of inspection for boats with more than six passengers and up to $19,277 for not having a Coast Guard license.
For more information, visit the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division at https://www.uscgboating.org. For more on passenger-for-hire regulations, reach out to the Sector LA/LB Investigations Division at (310) 521-3770 or email at SECLALB@uscg.mil.
Report illegal charter operations at (310) 521-3801 or LALBCOMMANDCENTER@uscg.mil.