With the season winding down, I am hopeful all had a terrific season. Before you know it, a new season will be here. For those in the "Walleye Capital of the World", the western basin of Lake Erie, I know you all did very well and that there are still many small Walleye being caught which will bode well for the future.
A few points, mostly reminders, for you to consider.
1. The National Maritime Center is slowly starting to catch up on their backlog of applications. We are seeing renewals down to about 4-6 weeks on the average. However, if you have a medical issue, it may take a bit longer. I don't recommend renewing months early, as it is not necessary. Renewal is easy and if you go to www.seatechmarinetraining.com and hit the FAQ button, one of the questions will answer your renewal questions.
I know I have said this many times, but it is not necessary for you to renew TWIC. As long as you had a card at one time, you are good. You do have to document 360 days in the last five years, of which 90 have to be in the last three years.
2. Upgrade to Near Coastal - It was easy, not so much anymore, but can be done. If you have a need or desire to go to 200 miles offshore and have Great Lakes time, let me know, you can enroll in one of our scheduled courses.
3. All training schools have been invited tot he National Maritime Center in November and we will be on hand. These meetings are very valuable as much information is conveyed that is essential to our being informed. The new Commanding Officer, Captain Kristen Martin has been doing a very good job and her goal is to improve virtually all aspects of licensing mariners.
4. Electronic Flares - Whether you are a pleasure boat or running an uninspected charter boat, you must carry distress signals. Weems and Plath Company now has a electronic version that never expires and works on "C" cell batteries. They are plastic and are sold for $99.00 each. These devices are approved for both recreational and charter boats carrying no more than six passengers. If you wish to move in that direction, I can sell them for $75.00 each.
5. Something that keeps popping up is the requirement to submit to an alcohol test after a serious marine incident. Two areas of confusion are, what is an incident that requires testing. If a passenger seeks professional medical care, then that would spark the test. Only the Captain needs to submit, not the crew. Although some Captains feel this can be accomplished by calling law enforcement, it usually does not meet the two hour time window required. For all those enrolled in my Sea Test program, we give all the alcohol swab that can be placed in your first aid kit and meets the Coast Guard's requirement. Also, remember, that crew have to be part of your random drug program.
6. Our classes will all be up and running for the fall and spring. Let us know if you know of anyone seeking a license. Classes are scheduled for Port Clinton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Erie, Bass Pro Shop in Auburn, NY, Muskegon, Kingston, NY, and the Finger Lakes of NY.
As always, if we know of a nice boat for sale, we let you know. Mark Haffley of Erie, PA is selling his 1991 28' Baha Fisherman. Turn key and in great shape for 13K. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
That is it for now. As always, let us know if you have any questions regarding licensing.
Sea Tech Marine Training
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