Coast Guard shuts down 22 illegal charter boats in two weeks
Loop North News


(Above) Members of the U.S. Coast Guard inspect a boat and speak with its crew at Monroe Harbor on August 19. Photo by Master Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf. (Click on image to view larger version.)

24-Aug-17 – The United States Coast Guard has in its sights passenger boats in the Chicago area that are not compliant with the law. In the past two weeks, the Coast Guard says its members boarded and “terminated operations” of 22 boats on Lake Michigan and Illinois River, saying they were illegal vessels for hire.

With the assistance of Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Coast Guard boarded 39 boats in the Chicago area, issued citations totaling more than $50,000, and charged operators with 14 misdemeanors, including at least one charge of obstruction of justice.

Zeita Merchant “Vessels that do not adhere to federal regulations not only pose serious safety concerns to the public and the environment, but also adversely impact the livelihood of legitimate operators who do comply with federal regulations,” said Commander Zeita Merchant (left), commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Chicago.

According to the Coast Guard, most people do not know they have booked or are on an illegal and unsafe charter until authorities board the vessel. The Coast Guard says passengers should ask charter operators for proof their vessel is compliant with requirements.

Charter boats can run afoul of the law by not complying with federal safety regulations, or by not having the proper licenses or inspection certificates.

“More boat owners are advertising their vessels for hire through boat sharing websites and mobile apps and are unaware of the risks and regulations for charter boats,” said the Coast Guard on Wednesday.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News |

Published 24-Aug-17 12:07 PM

Loop North News


What’s news in the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads and no charge. Just enter your email address here...

Number of subscribers:
See this week’s update

More stories

Structural Engineers Association of Illinois Summer Happy Hour. Stop by to catch up with friends and peers, meet new members, and introduce fellow engineers to SEAOI. Board and committee members will be on hand to answer questions about the organization. Enjoy free appetizers, fascinating conversation, fantastic raffle prizes, and a free round on SEAOI. Please RSVP and bring a friend. 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tradition Gastro Pub, 160 North Franklin Street. Map. More info.

ACTIVATE: Scene Change, Chicago Loop Alliance’s next ACTIVATE event, transforms a hidden alley through the art of lighting and set design in celebration of the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre. Guests will experience interactive tech, DJs, live performers, body painting, and more – all in the alley behind one of the Loop’s iconic theaters. 5:00-10:00 p.m., Auditorium Theatre alley, 416 South Michigan Avenue. Guests who RSVP in advance receive a free drink ticket, with additional beverages available for purchase on site. Map. More info.
More events

Biggest Gainers & Losers

339.99 8.24

105.44 3.26

193.17 1.84

137.23 1.72

Downtown Chicago Stocks