Namely, Stephens commented that the Congress can support marine safety on domestic passenger vessels by funding and staffing the already existent Coast Guard Marine Safety Mission with direct inspection of passenger vessels.

Highlighting her opposition towards placing third-party organizations to conduct inspections, Stephens added that

PVA adamantly believes that this would be a mistaken policy. Third-party organizations do not have expertise regarding smaller passenger vessels that operate on domestic routes. The current commitment to direct Coast Guard inspection of domestic passenger vessels is the preferable policy and is the best way to promote safety.

Thus, in her hearing, Stephens also addressed the growing challenge of illegal charter operations nationwide as a looming menace to public safety.

The problem of illegal charters has always existed, but it seems to have become much worse. Combating the proliferation of illegal passenger vessel charters is an important component of the Coast Guard's safety mission

... Stephens added.