The party is over for a chartered boat on one of Missouri’s summer tourist hot spots. On July 1, the U.S. Coast Guard ended the trip of a boat charter operation on the Lake of the Ozarks for allegedly violating safety and legal regulations. The voyage had 12 passengers board.
The operation is accused of: failing to have a valid Certificate of Inspection, failing to have a valid Certificate of Documentation endorsed for Coastwise Trade, failing to employ an appropriately credentialed mariner, and failing to have vessel marking requirements match the Certificate of Documentation.
“Lake of the Ozarks is one of the most dangerous lakes in America due to the high number of fatal boating accidents,” said Lt. Eric Kiehlmeier, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River chief of prevention. “We urge anyone paying for a trip on a passenger vessel to verify that their captain has a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection and a Merchant Mariner Credential. If the captain can’t produce their license, don’t get on the boat.”
Owners and operators of illegal vessels could get maximum civil penalties of $60,000 or more for illegal passenger for hire operations. Charters that violate a Captain of the Port Order could get a penalty of over $111,000.
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