Coast Guard warns against illegal vessels

The Coast Guard is warning people to be wary of illegal charters before hopping on a boat.

All commercial vessels must be Coast Guard certified. The Gulf Coast Illegal Charter Task Force insures there are enough life jackets on board, the captain has a license, and more. Boarding a boat without these items is extremely dangerous.

The task force is comprised of ten agencies from Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. They want you to know how to keep yourself safe before setting sail.

Lt. Steve Browning explains some questions you should ask before paying for a boat ride. “‘Do you have a Coast Guard credential? Coast Guard license? Do you – where are the life jackets? What do we do in the case of an emergency?’ Just basic questions you can ask the captain. And if you paid a person to go out, they should have a merchant mariner credential.”

Call 833-662-8724 to report any illegal operations.

Categories: Local News, News