December 2006 News Release 

Hello Fellow Captains,

This marks our first volume of news and other information of interest to licensed mariners and those who have an interest in licensing issues.

We will try to update this news letter on a regular basis. Initially the information will be in brief point format and we will try to keep you abreast of what you need to know. 

How about licensing?

The big news is that sometime in 2007-2008, the processing of new and renewal applications for licensing will be handled at a central location in West Virginia. The current exam centers, as we now know them, will only handle testing.

A new policy that went into effect this past January now requires only designated Coast Guard representatives to finger print all new and renewal applicants. There are no exceptions to this new policy.

For those people in the Western New York area who need cards for renewal, finger printing can be done in Buffalo, New York, by CWO Kurt Benson of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office. He can be reached for an appointment by calling 716-843-9570. 

Transportation Worker Industry Card (TWIC)

At some point in the future, all licensed mariners will have to apply for and be issued a Transportation Worker Industry Card (TWIC).

This TWIC card will be required and will most likely replace the current license that you now have. This proposed wallet sized card will be standardized for all transportation workers and will have printed on the reverse side your qualifications. Licenses as we now know them will still be available for an extra fee from the Coast Guard. 

License Expirations

In case you have ever wondered, there are an estimated twenty million people in America involved in some aspect of boating. Of that total, only about 58,000 hold licenses at the Operator's level and only about 10,000 hold licenses at the Master's level. If you have a license, you are in a very small group of qualified mariners.

Your license represents a significant investment in time and money. Don't let your license expire!! You only have one (1) year after the expiration date to renew your license.

You can always place the license in continuity for $35, however you must still be finger printed and an application must still be filed with the Coast Guard. This will buy you an additional five (5) years to renew. 

Drug Testing Requirements

Remember, all persons connected with the safe operation of your vessel must be in a random drug testing program that meets applicable Coast Guard regulations.

Original licenses (and certain other required documents) must be on board any vessel that you are operating as a licensed captain.

If you are in a random drug testing program and let your membership lapse for even a day, you must submit another acceptable drug test to re-enroll in an approved program.

Our own random drug testing program is going quite well with close to 100 mariners already enrolled with Sea Test, Inc.

Information on joining our own drug testing program can be found at our web site under the Sea Test link. 

Boat Delivery and Insurance

If you do boat delivery, make certain that the boat owner's insurance carrier is aware of you taking on this task. Otherwise, any potential claim may be held up or perhaps even be in jeopardy of not being paid in the event of a loss. 

Anything Else?

Always feel free to call us (Toll Free 1-877-883-9366) with any questions you may have regarding licenses, or send us an e-mail at:  

Best Wishes to our friends, dedicated instructors and staff, and our students and graduates in the upcoming New Year.

Captain Dennis Daniels