USCG Shuts Down Illegal Southern California Charter Vessels

The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of an illegal charter vessel twice during a joint operation with the Marina Del Rey Sheriffs while patrolling the harbor to ensure boater safety in Marina Del Rey over Labor Day weekend. Photo: USCG.

The U.S. Coast Guard shut down three illegal charter vessels operating in Southern California over Labor Day weekend, the Guard announced.

Sector San Diego halted two illegal charter vessels and their voyages while they carried passengers for hire.

Meanwhile, the USCG teamed up with the Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s law enforcement to stop Beirut, a 58-foot pleasure boat operating an illegal charter vessel with 15 passengers. The vessel is in violation of not having a valid certificate of inspection, not having a Coast Guard-licensed captain, running in coastwise trade without the appropriate certificate of documentation endorsement and for failing to have a random drug testing program, USCG said.

Charter vessel passengers should always check to make sure their captain has a safety plan and a merchant mariner credential, according to the Coast Guard. For larger charter vessels, passengers should check to see a USCG-issued certificate of inspection.

“Illegal charters are a serious risk to their passengers and to other boat operators on the water,” Coast Guard Sector San Diego Cmdr. Jamie Koppi said. “There is a reason for the regulations we put in place; we don’t want lives to be lost and we want everyone to safely share and enjoy the water. We urge anyone suspecting that a vessel is violating the law to report the alleged violation.”

For more on recreational boating safety, visit USCG’s Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2) at To report an illegal charter operation, contact Coast Guard Sector LA/LB Command Center at (310) 521-3801 or

By Karen Robes Meeks