Guard against emergencies with AMSEA survival training

Particpants in a class pull Scott Wilwert toward the vessel Northern Star during a man overboard drill exercise in Douglas Harbor Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011. USCG Photo

KODIAK, Alaska – Alaska Marine Safety Education Association’s boating safety courses will be available to mariners throughout the year in Alaska providing hands-on training with equipment used in survival situations.

AMSEA’s programs bring information and training to commercial fishermen and recreational boaters alike that directly addresses the principle causes of injuries and death within the state.  Training can be tailored to the audience whether it’s a commercial drill instructor class, coastal navigation, women’s boating safety, subsistence fishing or other topics.

Commercial fishing vessel owners are required by the Coast Guard to have a qualified person aboard to conduct regular emergency drills for the crew. Everyone who successfully completes the AMSEA Drill Conductor training is issued a drill card that serves as proof of compliance with Coast Guard training requirements.

“Alaska leads the nation in the percentage of fishermen trained as Drill Conductors which is a testament to AMSEA’s efforts and reputation,” said Kenneth Lawrenson, 17th Coast Guard District commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator.

Drill Conductor courses are currently scheduled throughout the nation. Current dates and locations in Alaska include:

Single Day Courses:
Sitka – Jan. 20 Ketchikan – Jan. 29 Yakutat – Feb. 1
Metlakatla – Feb. 5 Petersburg – Feb. 5 Cordova – Feb. 26
Pelican – TBD March Seward – April 5 Dillingham – TBD May
Naknek – June 9 Naknek – June 10 Naknek – June 11
Two Day Courses:
Petersburg – Feb. 10 – 11
Fairbanks – March 18 -19

AMSEA also provides non-commercial boating safety training. According to the Alaska Office of Boating Safety, in the last 10 years 105 more Alaskans died in recreational boating accidents than died in commercial fishing. Nine of 10 of those who died were adult males and nine of 10 were in boats 26 feet in length or shorter.

For more information or to register online for AMSEA training opportunities please visit: or follow AMSEA on Twitter at

Recreational boating safety training and recreational vessel safety checks are also available from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Visit for more information or contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla in your area.

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