Friday, January 13, 2012

AMSEA’s Port-Based Safety Training PART—2

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Jerry Dzugan, executive director, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association.

The first Marine Safety Instructor Training (MSIT) course was held in Sitka, Alaska, in 1986. Since that time, more than 1,000 instructors from American Samoa to Maine, and from Florida to Northwestern Alaska, have been certified to train commercial fishermen.

Almost 10,000 fishing emergency drill conductors have been trained in more than 1,000 workshops since 1990. In addition, over 180,000 fishermen and other mariners have also been provided with hands-on safety training in custom courses on different topics.

The National Marine Fisheries Service Observer Training Program
The National Marine Fisheries Service Observer Training Program uses the MSIT training as the basic qualifications for their instructors. “AMSEA training” has become synonymous with marine safety training in many parts of the country.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has documented that a mariner is one and a half times more likely to survive an emergency at sea if he has taken safety training. Additionally, the majority of instructors teaching marine safety to commercial fishermen in the U.S. have now been trained in AMSEA’s Coast Guard-accepted MSIT course.

Due in part to these efforts, in the last 20 years the average number of fishing fatalities in Alaska fell from 38 per year to an average of 11.2.

PICTURED: Floyd Tomkins splits wedges wrapped in cloth to fix one of several flooding problems in AMSEA’s flooding control trailer.