The U.S. Coast Guard has mapped out a recall and verification program for merchant mariners' licenses and documents issued throughout the past several years from a branch licensing office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Blank licenses, which were apparently sent to the San Juan office are unaccounted for and a machine that is capable of producing these documents has been reported as missing. It is now up to Coast Guard officials to find out if any licenses or documents were issued improperly, and if they are being used by mariners.
An investigation into the unaccounted for license blanks and document equipment has not yet been completed - so details are not readily available. These actions have therefore led the USCG to launch the verification program because of public safety concerns.
Coast Guard field units in Puerto Rico and around the U.S. will be checking for suspect licenses and documents. In addition, a system-wide review of issuing audit procedures used at the Regional Examination Centers and the National Maritime Centers will also be conducted.