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HELP with USCG Drug Testing Regulations

27 Jan 2015

HELP!  What Do I Need To Be In Compliance? Part 3

… Marine Employers – Help is available for your drug testing program, the US Coast Guard requires a drug and alcohol testing program and drug testing consortium.  USCG Drug Testing Regulations, are you in compliance?

Read Part 1 of this Series Here >>>
Read Part 2 of this Series Here >>>

Now that I have come this far towards getting my sport fishing business together, I will hurry up and complete all the requirements as this is taking more time and money than what I expected.  Perhaps there is something to that old adage that a boat is nothing more than a hole in the water that you toss money in.  I need to stop pouring money into this boat and use it to make some good hard cash.

Now to review what I need to do to get in compliance.

  • Have hired two deckhands provided that they pass a drug test.
  • Get an employee awareness program for drugs and alcohol for my deckhands.
  • Get some alcohol test kits, hopefully the drug test consortium can assist with this.
  • Get all the official drug and alcohol test forms that I need to be in compliance.
  • Still have to figure out how that fish finder device works before I take any fishing passengers out for a great and fun day of fishing.

The two deckhands took and passed the drug test so they can work for me.  The plus is that they are not afraid to touch a fish and know how to net and bring a fish on board and prep them for our clients that caught them.

I still have to give them some awareness information for drugs and alcohol so I do not have that issue to face when operating a vessel.  The Consortium provided me with some information to give to my employees and myself.  The consortium also helped provided a policy concerning drugs and alcohol along with consequences for use.

They also provided me with a national hot line number which is required me for me to display.  This is the phone number people who are seeking assistance with a substance abuse problem can call to get some help and direction on what to do.

Some of the items provided but not required was a certificate that had the vessel name and vessel document number on it stating that my vessel had a drug-free program and was in compliance with the required drug and alcohol testing regulations.  That I put in the document locker next to the still incomplete Certificate of Inspection (COI).  Plus they issued cards to myself and my crewmembers stating our names and that we had passed a pre-employment drug test and the date that the test was conducted.

Now to get some alcohol test kits that I can use in the unlikely event of a Serious Marne Incident (SMI).  I need to make a copy of the requirements so I know when I will need to do those tests.  Two hours to get them completed means that I will have to carry them on board the vessel.  The Coast Guard means business but then again their goal is maritime safety and to investigate marine casualties when they do occur.  I am just glad that I do not have to carry evidential breath testing devices as that would be cost prohibitive.  Those breath testing devices would be around $3,000 plus training costs. The screen test devices are right around $5.00 per unit, plus I do not need any formal training to use them as they are very simple to use.  I have a good cool place to store them on the vessel.  The consortium will keep track when I have to replace them, thank goodness, so I do not have to remember that little detail.

Let’s see now, I have some drug test chain-of-custody forms now along with the forms to be completed if there is a SMI.

I think I am ready for the Coast Guard to pay me a visit and re-inspect me to ensure that I am in compliance and ready to safely carry passengers.

I finally figured out how that fish finder works and all I have to do is hook it up and make sure it works after it is put in place.  I have extra fishing poles, reels and fishing lures and a bait locker.  I also obtained gaff hooks for landing fish and some well -trained deckhands who know how to land fish.  They even know what to do if a passenger falls overboard.  I have advertised and have several passengers ready to go deep sea fishing.

I am so excited my dream is about ready to come true.   Now to call the Coast Guard as they said they would come out the following day after I called them.

The next article will be about my first very formal Coast Guard inspection and whether I passed or not?