A boat rental operator at Port San Luis may have to get a separate permit from the state Coastal Commission before he can resume high-speed boat tours.
The port’s Board of Commissioners this week spent several hours debating how to deal with one of its concessionaires, Wave Jammers, whose use of high-speed boats was appealed to the Coastal Commission in the summer.
Critics say the use of so-called thrill crafts to give tours should not be allowed because they are too noisy and can potentially injure marine animals.
In December, Coastal Commission staff told harbor officials that the high-speed tours would likely need a separate state coastal development permit, and the tours were stopped.
Harbor commissioners Tuesday decided to renew their permit to Wave Jammers operator Ed Coppolo. However, it will be Coppolo’s responsibility to obtain a state permit, if needed.
“The commission felt strongly that this is a harbor which is meant to be used by vessels,” said Steve McGrath, harbor manager. “Mr. Coppolo has proven himself to be a responsible licensee.”
Coppolo will also work with harbor officials to develop safety guidelines for another part of his business, the rental of personal watercraft, often called jet skis.
For example, renters could be told to motor slowly down to the Cal Poly pier and then out to open water before they are allowed to drive the craft at full speed.
Wave Jammers is one of about eight concessionaires operating in the port. Others rent a variety of recreational equipment, such as kayaks and paddleboards.
Only Wave Jammers’ permit has been appealed. It was filed last June by the Sierra Club.
Reach David Sneed at 781-7930.