- Associated Press - Sunday, August 27, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard partnered with Illinois officials to police charter operations on Lake Michigan and the Illinois River, ending voyages for 22 vessels.

The Coast Guard and Illinois Department of Natural Resources undertook the effort over the last two weeks. The Coast Guard says the vessel operators had administrative controls placed, ordering the boats to immediately cease operating as commercial passenger vessels until they comply with federal law.

The Coast Guard says it also issued citations totaling more than $50,000. The IDNR issued 14 misdemeanor charges. The Coast Guard and state officials boarded 39 boats total on Lake Michigan and the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park.

State and Coast Guard officials say the goal of the operation was to ensure passenger safety.

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