11/27/2017: Illegal passenger vessel operations – A risk to safety, credentialed mariners, and legitimate operators

Illegal operations and the potential dangers they present have existed since the inception of passenger vessel regulations. In recent years, however, the introduction of certain smart phone apps to the hospitality and transportation industries has exacerbated the issue by making it easier for property owners to enter into agreements to temporarily lease, charter, or rent their homes or vehicles to interested parties for compensation. As expected, emerging business ventures are now dedicated to boat rentals and water taxis using similar business plans and smart phone apps. In this post, the Coast Guard discusses some of the risks associated with illegal passenger operations and what the boating public and legitimate operators can do to protect themselves.