Coast Guard asking vessel operators to be on lookout for illegal charter boats

SAN DIEGO (KUSI)  — The Coast Guard is warning vessel operators and the general public to be on the lookout for illegal charter boats operating in the San Diego area. 

The Coast Guard has standards in place to ensure the safety of all persons at sea and illegal charters often do not meet the minimum standards set forth. 

Any vessel carrying passengers for monetary gain, any form of economic benefit, or a donation as a condition of carriage requires a Coast Guard credentialed mariner and a current Certificate of Documentation or State Registration. 

In addition, if carrying more than six passengers, the vessel must have a valid Certificate of Inspection issued by the Coast Guard. A valid Certificate of Inspection is proof that the Coast Guard has verified that the vessel meets specific minimum federal safety standards, outlines passenger and crew manning requirements and defines navigation routes allowed.

Vessels that do not meet these standards pose serious safety concerns to the public and environment. 

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