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Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers train for safety at sea

Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers conduct safety training
UNALASKA, Alaska - Alaska State Wildlife Troopers from the 156-foot patrol vessel Stimson receive water safety and survival instruction from Charlie Medlicott, a Coast Guard commercial fishing vessel safety examiner, in Unalaska Feb. 29, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jake Vickers.
Charlie Medlicott, the Coast Guard District 17 commercial fishing vessel safety examiner in Unalaska, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jake Vickers of Marine Safety Detahcment Unalaska conducted safety training with the crew of the 156-foot Alaska State Trooper patrol vessel Stimson Wednesday in Unalaska.
The Coast Guard routinely works with the Alaska State Troopers to enforce fisheries regulations, conduct search and rescue and protect the safety of life at sea through joint patrols during the Bristol Bay salmon and Togiak herring fisheries. Both of these fisheries occur in state waters and fall under the jurisdiction of the Alaska State Troopers.
Medlicott taught the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association’s 10-hour drill conductor course to the eight-man crew. The course provides practical information on the survival equipment found on most commercial vessels and on conducting emergency on board drills. Skills are learned in a hands-on format. The training includes:
“I teach two to three of these 10-hour drill conductor classes a year,” said Medlicott. “We also conduct regular fishing vessel safety exams on the fleet here and conduct emergency drills with the vessel crews. We do 30 or 40 exams with the vessels enrolled in the Alternate Compliance and Safety Agreement program alone.”
During the training students learn how to instruct fishing crews about shipboard fire fighting systems, liferafts, immersion suits and personal flotation devices, coldwater survival skills, conducting emergency drills, the use of flares and making mayday calls.
Everyone who successfully completes the drill conductor course is issued a drill conductor card that serves as proof of compliance with Coast Guard training requirements. Successful course completion also earns sea time toward licensure. While compliance with the Coast Guard training requirements is not currently required for this vessel it will be in the future under the marine safety section of the Coast Guard Authorization Act. Under the new regulations it will be mandatory for the captain of the vessel and the first mate to be certified and trained at least once every five years.
“Safety on the water is paramount for everyone,” said Medlicott. ” This training was a great opportunity. The crew did really well and I learned more about the capabilites of their vessel.”
Medlicott has served the fishermen of Alaska for more than 20 years. He began his time in Alaska as an active duty Coast Guardsman at Station Juneau in 1989 and went on to serve aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, homeported in Auke Bay, and Marine Safety Office, now Sector,  Anchorage. Medlicott has been stationed at Marine Safety Detchament Unalaska as a civilian commercial fishing vessel safety examiner since 2006.
For more information about AMSEA safety courses please visit their website or call 907-747-3287. To schedule a commerical fishing vessel safety exam please contact Ken Lawrenson in Juneau at 907-463-2810 or Charlie Medlicott in Unalaska at 907-581-3466.

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