Coast Guard stops charter boat operating illegally in Charleston

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Coast Guard stopped a charter boat operating illegally in Charleston on Nov. 15.According to a release, seven paying passengers were on a roundtrip, four-day charter cruise from Charleston to Savannah.The vessel's operator had a Coast Guard-issued captain's license but it expired in May and was not renewed, Coast Guard officials said.In addition, the vessel did not have a valid certificate of inspection, which is required for a commercial voyage with more than six passengers, the release states.The captain's name and the vessel's name have not been released.Operating a charter vessel without the required documents and operator license is a violation of federal law. If caught, captains can be subject to criminal or civil liability up to $40,000 per violation. To verify a captain's license or the inspected status of a vessel carrying more than six passengers, you are encouraged to call Coast Guard Sector Charleston at 843-740-7050.