Coast Guard terminates illegal charter near Oregon City, OR

A boarding team from Coast Guard Station Portland determined a 17-foot vessel was being operated as an Illegal Uninspected Passenger Vessel on the Willamette River near Oregon City, Oregon Oct. 6, 2022. The vessel owner faces a maximum civil penalty of $103,200 and was issued a Captain of the Port Order that prohibits the vessel from operating commercially until they have satisfied all valid charter requirements to the Coast Guard. (Coast Guard courtesy photo)

A boarding team from Coast Guard Station Portland determined a 17-foot vessel was being operated as an Illegal Uninspected Passenger Vessel on the Willamette River near Oregon City, Oregon Oct. 6, 2022.  (Coast Guard courtesy photo)

ASTORIA, Ore. – The Coast Guard terminated an illegal charter Thursday on the Willamette River near Oregon City.

A boarding team from Coast Guard Station Portland boarded a 17-foot vessel Thursday with three people aboard. The boarding team determined the vessel was being operated as an Illegal Uninspected Passenger Vessel.

The vessel operator was cited for multiple violations. The vessel owner faces a maximum civil penalty of $103,200 and was issued a Captain of the Port Order that prohibits the vessel from operating commercially until they have satisfied all valid charter requirements to the Coast Guard.

“Illegal charters pose a serious safety risk to their passengers and the boating public,” said Lt. Jody Stiger, the Chief of Investigations at Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland. “Terminating these dangerous voyages and educating the boating public is our top priority.”

The Coast Guard highly encourages passengers who are planning to hire a vessel for charter to verify their captain has a safety plan and a Coast Guard-issued credential. For larger charter boats or those with more than six passengers, ask to see a Coast Guard-issued Certificate of Inspection. The Coast Guard also recommends passengers verify the vessel has an uninspected passenger vessel (UPV) exam sticker or a Coast Guard sticker of inspection for T boats. If the operator cannot produce the appropriate credentials, passengers are recommended to not get on the boat and report the operator to the Coast Guard.

Any boat carrying passengers for hire is required to hold a Coast Guard license and meet minimum safety standards. Proper emergency safety gear, navigational systems and communication equipment are required for safe operations. Uninspected passenger vessels are only permitted to carry up to six passengers for hire under Coast Guard regulations.


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