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Vital Marine Safety Training for Fishermen and Boaters

Mariners practicing abandon ship drills during an AMSEA training session.
Mariners practicing abandon ship drills during an AMSEA training session.

Alaska's fisheries play a crucial role in the national seafood industry, attracting both commercial and sport fishermen. However, the industry faces a high occupational fatality rate,approximately 20 times higher than the national average. To address this, theAlaska Marine Safety Education Association is dedicated to reducing injuries and fatalities in marine and freshwater environments.

AMSEA offers the Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class, which trains individuals to respond to emergencies at sea and instructs them to share that knowledge with other crew members effectively.

Jen Smola will be teaching the course at the Kenai Peninsula College Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer next week.

“In any sort of emergency, if you have an idea of what you should do, it gives you more of a focus, instead of just panicking and not understanding the proper steps to ensure your survival,” she said.

Smola said the class provides an opportunity to learn about advancements in flotation technology and develop skills and muscle memory that are essential in an emergency.

There will be hands-on activities in the classroom, along with a lecture.

“We'll go over to the pool, don immersion suits and different types of flotation devices, and get in the pool to experience how it feels to float around,” she said.

The exercises are designed to be easily shared with others through drills aboard a vessel.

To ensure the safety of all crew members onboard commercial fishing vessels, the US Coast Guard mandates that monthly safety drills be conducted. These drills must be led by someone who has completed the Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor class.

“This class is targeted towards commercial fishing crew members. However, for anyone who ever goes on the water, this is a beneficial class for understanding what to do in an emergency,” she said.

The course will be held on January 8 and 9 at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer, with an additional class offered in Seward on April 8th and 9th.

For more information and to register for the class, visit or call (907) 747-3287.

Local News Homer AlaskaKachemak Bay Campus
Simon Lopez is a long time listener of KBBI Homer. He values Kachemak Bay’s beauty and its overall health. Simon is community oriented and enjoys being involved in building and maintaining an informed and proactive community.
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