Good Day,

Drill Conductors Safety Course to be held at Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe, 702 Fisherman’s Wharf, FL 33931Register online or call AMSEA at (907) 747-3287. The cost for the class is $FREE for commercial fishermen, thanks to support from the U.S. Coast Guard and NIOSH.  This course will fulfill the U.S. Coast Guard requirement; 46 CFR 28.270 – Instruction, Drills, and Safety Orientation for documented vessels operating beyond the boundary line (12nm on the Gulf of Mexico).

§ 28.270Instruction, drills, and safety orientation.
(a)Drills and instruction. The master or individual in charge of each vessel must ensure that drills are conducted and instruction is given to each individual on board at least once each month. Instruction may be provided in conjunction with drills or at other times and places provided it ensures that each individual is familiar with their duties and their responses to at least the following contingencies:
(1) Abandoning the vessel;
(2) Fighting a fire in different locations on board the vessel;
(3) Recovering an individual from the water;
(4) Minimizing the effects of unintentional flooding;
(5) Launching survival craft and recovering lifeboats and rescue boats;
(6) Donning immersion suits and other wearable personal flotation devices;
(7) Donning a fireman’s outfit and a self-contained breathing apparatus, if the vessel is so equipped;
(8) Making a voice radio distress call and using visual distress signals;
(9) Activating the general alarm; and
(10) Reporting inoperative alarm systems and fire detection systems.
(b)Participation in drills. Drills must be conducted on board the vessel as if there were an actual emergency and must include participation by all individuals on board, breaking out and using emergency equipment, testing of all alarm and detection systems, donning protective clothing, and donning immersion suits, if the vessel is so equipped.
(c)Training. No individual may conduct the drills or provide the instructions required by this section unless that individual has been trained in the proper procedures for conducting the activity.

However, remember that in 2010 the Coast Guard was charged by Congress to implement a change that would require the CAPTAINS of all commercial fishing vessels federally documented and state registered that are operating beyond 3nm of the coast to be certified to meet this requirement.  Now this HAS NOT been put into regulations as of yet.  But this class may be a chance to become or have a long standing captain certified.  More information on this change and others that are pending from the “CG Auth. Act of 2010” and “CG and Maritime Trans. Act of 2012” can be found at

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or your local Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examiner.


Mr. Al Waterford, USCG (ret.)
Program Manager, Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety
Fishing and Passenger Vessel Examiner
United States Coast Guard
Sector St. Petersburg
Preventions Department
155 Columbia Dr.
Tampa, FL 33606
Tel #: (813) 228-2196, ext. #8136
Fax #: (813) 228-2399