Coast Guard, other agencies conduct operations to counter illegal charters

ST. LOUIS – The Coast Guard and partner agencies conducted operations to promote safety on Lake of the Ozarks from June through September 2018.

During the operations, Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River boatcrews and investigators conducted:

  • 35 safety boardings
  • Nine voyage terminations for illegal charters
  • Education on boating safety and illegal charter operations
  • Five ongoing investigations, which may result in civil penalties

“Safety of boaters, safety of the waterway and safety of the environment are goals we all share,” said Capt. Scott Stoermer, the commander of Sector Upper Mississippi River. “In support of these goals, we will continue to enforce and uphold applicable federal laws and regulations on Lake of the Ozarks while helping to educate charter operators and passengers on safe and legal charter operations. As a reminder, operators that carry more than six passengers on their vessel, or bareboat charters (i.e. rental boats) that carry more than 12 passengers, are required to be inspected by the Coast Guard. Members of my staff are available to assist and answer questions regarding inspections and licensing requirements.”

Some potential fines for illegally operating a charter vessel include:

  • Up to $18,477.00 per day for failure of an inspected vessel or vessel required to be inspected to be under the control of an individual with the appropriate Coast Guard credential (46 USC 8101(g)).
  • Up to $38,954.00 for failure to have an uninspected passenger vessel under the control of a properly licensed individual (46 USC 8906).
  • Up to $7,520.00 for failure of operators to be enrolled in a chemical testing program (46 USC 2115).
  • Up to $23,426.00 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers (46 USC 3318(k)).
  • Up to $15,995.00 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over five net tons (46 USC 12151(a)(1)).
  • Up to $22,957.00 for failure to possess a Stability Letter (46 USC 3318(k)).

Missouri Highway Patrol and Coast Guard Investigative Services provided assistance during the summer operations on Lake of the Ozarks.

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