Coast Guard terminates illegal charter in Lake Tahoe

29-foot Response Boat Small-II File Photo

29-foot Response Boat Small-II File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard terminated the voyage of an illegal charter vessel operating near Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, May 28.

A Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew boarded a 22-foot recreational boat with 15 passengers aboard and discovered the following violations:

  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 176.100 (a) for not having a valid Certificate of Inspection.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R 15.401(a) for not having an individual with an appropriate license.
  • Violation of 46 C.F.R. 16.201 for failure to have a drug and alcohol program.

“The Coast Guard will aggressively pursue any vessel operator that puts their customers at risk operating outside federal safety requirements,” said Lt. William Williams, the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Investigations Division chief. “Operators who transport paying passengers illegally pose a serious risk to the waterways.”

Any operator carrying passengers for hire is required to hold a Coast Guard license and meet safety standards. Uninspected passenger vessels are only permitted to carry up to six passengers for hire under Coast Guard regulations. Owners and operators of illegal charter boats can face maximum civil penalties of over $75,000 for illegal passenger for hire operations. Potential fines include:

  1. Up to $43,678 for failure to operate a passenger vessel with a Coast Guard license as per 46 U.S.C. 8906.
  2. Up to $17,935 for failure to produce a valid Certificate of Documentation for vessels over five net tons as per 46 U.S.C. 12151(a)(1).
  3. Up to $8,433 for failure to have a bona fide drug and alcohol testing program as per 46 C.F.R. 16.201.
  4. Up to $5,254 for failure to provide a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for vessels carrying more than six passengers as per 46 C.F.R. 176.100.

For additional recreational boating safety information, please visit the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2) at

For questions regarding operations or regulations, please contact the Sector San Francisco Investigations Division at (510) 813-9636 or email at

To report a suspected illegal charter operation, please contact the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center at (415) 399-7300 or

For more news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For recent photographs follow us on Flickr.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.