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Compliance with Coast Guard - Part 4

06 Feb 2015

Coast Guard Required Drug and Alcohol Testing

Finally in compliance with Coast Guard, What is Next? Part 4

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Well, I finally made it and have a US Coast Guard issued Certificate of Inspection (COI) and a sticker issued by the Coast Guard visible to the public so the public knows that I am okay to carry passengers.

The inspection was very detailed and included a man overboard drill which the crewmembers did a good job in rescuing the dummy passenger. They also checked out the operational aspects of the vessel and reviewed the Stability Letter to make sure that it was current.  The inspection was thorough but I passed and the vessel was deemed in compliance with all safety regulations.

The Coast Guard was pleased with the drug test results for the crewmembers where they tested negative and are able to work.  The inspectors were quick to remind me that if a crewmember tested positive, they would like to know so that could be entered into the Coast Guard database.  They also told me that they will run a background check on each crewmember to make sure that they are eligible to work and do not have any prior positive drug tests that were reported to the National Maritime Center.  The Coast Guard again checked my license to make sure it was valid and that all of us were entered into a scientifically valid random selection program.  I was also reminded that if I tested positive, I would be subject to losing my license.

I have obtained a commercial license from the state to go commercial sport fishing off the coast with passengers that want to go deep sea fishing.  The passengers are also required to have a license.

I have advertised and have several passengers that are want to go sport fishing on a two day fishing trip.  I have sodas, snacks on board to sell along with a short order fry cook to prepare hamburgers and other short order type food items.  Oh yes, the local food inspectors came on board to make sure that all would be done in accordance with hygiene so there is a certificate posted for that.  I did hire a short order cook but he is not in a safety-sensitive position and is not subject to drug testing.

I also had to hire another licensed captain as I am allowed to operate the vessel for only 12 hours then to take 12 hours off.  Yes, he passed his drug test thank goodness and he is also in the random drug testing pool.  That makes 4 people in the random drug test pool and with a random testing rate, that means at least one person, if not more will be selected to take a random drug test.

The passengers are embarked and all lines are cast off and off we go to fish for albacore and tuna.  Everybody is excited and oh yes, the fish finder as I finally figured out how it works.

Passengers are reminded that is a drug-free boat and the use of marijuana and other drugs will not be tolerated.  Offenders will be reported to the local law enforcement when we get back to port.  The use of alcoholic beverages is not allowed as I do not need passengers onboard that are intoxicated.

On the way to the fishing grounds, we stop to pick up live bait to use to catch albacore with.  Yes albacore and tuna like live fish.  A fun day of fishing is ahead for the paying passengers.

The next article will be what happens next and what do we do about that.

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