CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Coast Guard law enforcement team stopped an illegal charter boat operation Friday, November 15, 2013, after a captain of the boat unlawfully took seven paying passengers on a four-day roundtrip charter cruise from Charleston to Savanna, GA.
The ship was returning from the last part of the cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway, when a team from the Coast Guard stopped the illegal charter trip.
Coast Guard officials say the captain was operating with an expired license and the charter boat did not have a valid Certificate of Inspection, which is required for all commercial voyages with more than six passengers.
According to officials the charter boat previously had a Coast Guard issued captain's license, but it expired in May 2013 and was never renewed.
"The Coast Guard is dedicated to reducing loss of life, injuries, and accidents on U.S. waterways," said Capt. Ric Rodriguez, commander of Coast Guard Sector Charleston. "Illegal operators put lives at risk by sidestepping safety requirements. The public can help stop these illegal and dangerous activities by asking excursion vessel captains to produce valid original Coast Guard credentials and Coast Guard Certificates of Inspection on inspected vessels."
Officials say a Coast Guard issued captain's licenses demonstrate the captain of a commercial boat vessel has met minimum requirements in navigation and seamanship rules. The Coast Guard advises the public to ask boat captains to show his or her original Coast Guard license.
If you want to verify a captain's license or the inspected status of a vessel carrying more than six passengers, please call Charleston Coast Guard at 843-740-7050.