Coast Guard reminds boaters Let’s Ride Alaska Act not applicable to passenger vessels

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard is reminding Alaska boaters that Alaska House Bill 132, otherwise known as the Let’s Ride Alaska Act, that brings ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft to Alaska roadways, does not pertain to navigable waters of Alaska.

Despite the bill’s concessions for allowing ridesharing services to operate within Alaska, boat owners are not permitted to provide charter services as an Uninspected Passenger Vessel unless they meet pre-existing standards of safety and conduct.

Safety requirements for UPVs relate to licensing, watch standing, vessel documentation, mandatory drug testing regime, casualty reporting, required charts and electronic equivalencies, navigation lights and sound signals, life saving and firefighting equipment, safety orientation and instruction, and pollution prevention.

Any UPV operator, agent, master, owner or individual in charge found in violation of the applicable laws and regulations may be liable for a $5,000 civil penalty per incident.

“Exploring Alaska’s beautiful waterways is part of the adventure of living here,” said Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, Coast Guard 17th District commander. “The Coast Guard wants to ensure boaters are doing that in the safest way possible.”

For more information concerning Uninspected Passenger Vessels, please visit the Coast Guard Passenger Vessel Safety Program page at https://www.uscg.mil/pvs/UPV.asp.

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