Alaska Marine Safety

Education Association







USCG accepted courses

Marine Safety or Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Instructor Training

Both informally known as "MSIT"

MSIT class in Seward, AK

Above, participants spend only some of their time in the classroom while attending an MSIT class in Seward, Alaska in April 2011

Upcoming Courses:

September 30 - October 5, 2014 - Sitka, AK
April 14 - 19, 2015 - Seward, AK


Please see AMSEA's Course Calendar for other possible upcoming
Marine Safety or Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Instructor Training

Pre-registration is required for participation in all MSIT courses

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for any MSIT course listed above or on AMSEA's Course Calendar


Already registered for the next MSIT course?

See the list of what to bring to the course

Scenes from an MSIT class held in Sitka, Alaska, September 2007.
Photo collage by course participant Rodney Avila of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

About AMSEA's Marine Safety or Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Instructor Training:

AMSEA's Instructor Training (MSIT) is a premier train-the-trainer course. Marine Safety Instructor Training and Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Instructor Training are two slightly different versions of an intensive 48-hour, six to six and one half day program designed to train individuals to effectively teach cold water survival procedures, marine safety equipment and onboard safety drills.

The Marine Safety Instructor Training sessions are designed for persons wanting to teach cold-water safety and survival in a variety of settings – for private businesses or government agencies, for recreational boaters, in schools, etc.

Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Instructor Training is tailored expressly for individuals who will work with commercial fishermen and their vessels.

MSIT is U.S. Coast Guard accepted. Instructors successfully completing the course receive:

  • A fishing vessel drill instructor cetificate (meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements for documented fishing vessels)
  • Three college credits (500 level) from the University of Alaska Southeast (for an additional fee)
  • Credit for completing "special professional training or experience that relates directly to the contingencies listed in 46 CFR 28.270 (a) including experience as an instructor, or training received in instructional methods."
  • Opportunity to become a U.S. Coast Guard-accepted marine safety instructor with access to AMSEA's extensive equipment and teaching materials lending collection.
  • STCW "Train the Trainer" Certificate - (for an additional fee and an additional half-day)

Topics covered in the course include:

Preparation for Emergencies
The "Seven Steps to Survival"(a priority listing of steps to take during an emergency), the role of preparation in dealing with emergencies, and survival kits.

Cold Water Survival
Overview of types of personal flotation devices (PFDs), includes advantages, disadvantages, and maintenance as well as cold water survival techniques. A pool practical is included.

Sea Survival, Equipment, Procedures & Onboard Drills
Discussion, hands-on demonstration and practice with survival equipment including EPIRBs, life rafts, flares, immersion suits, and fire fighting equipment. Also, abandon ship procedures, stability, U.S. Coast Guard-assisted evacuations, vessel orientation, emergency instruction, and station bills. This section meets U.S. Coast Guard training requirements for documented fishing vessels, and usually includes actual drills onboard a vessel.

Land Survival
Techniques important to surviving in Alaska's environment including shelters, signals and the "Seven Steps to Survival" as they apply to a shore survival situation.

Food and Water in a Survival Situation
The vital role of water in a sea or land survival situation with emphasis on the importance of a safe water supply and preventing dehydration. May include a beach walk to identify edible foods.

Cold Water Near Drowning
The latest information on cold water near-drowning, including a review of the latest State of Alaska guidelines.

Hypothermia physiology, prevention, recognition, and treatment in accordance with the latest State of Alaska guidelines.

Methods of Instruction
Information for potential instructors who do not already have a teaching background including practical techniques helpful when instructing marine safety, lesson plan formulation, adult learning styles, class logistics, and teaching practice.

Risk Assessment and Risk Management
Theories of risk assessment, risk perceptions and tolerances, how to increase risk recognition skills, and risk management as applicable to teaching marine safety and workplace and in recreational activities.

Cross-Cultural Communication
Exploration of how people miscommunicate due to differing cultural communication styles, how this miscommunication interferes in the learning environment, and what can be done to help.

Overnight Exercise
Generally only included in courses offered in Alaska, the overnight exercise allows course participants to experience a "survival" situation in a life raft or on shore. Use of rations, safe sources of food and water, and dressing to prevent hypothermia are stressed. This exercise and the debriefing that follows make up the culminating course activities.

Ongoing post-course support for Marine Safety Instrcutor Training participants includes:

Typical Course Cost

AMSEA Members* $875
Non-members $995

Please Note: A late registration fee of $250 will be added to the course cost for those registering 10 days or less before the start of class.

*Member rates are available to individuals who hold a current AMSEA membership at the $50.00 level or higher. To learn more about AMSEA memberships, please visit the Membership Page.

Fee waivers available on a limited basis. Optional STCW "Train the Trainer" Certificate can be completed the afternoon of the last day of most MSIT courses. Additional fee of $200.00 applies.

Please see AMSEA's Course Calendar for upcoming Marine Safety or Commercial Fishing Vessel Instructor Training.


Pre-registration is required for participation in all MSIT courses. Please click here to register for any MSIT course listed on AMSEA's Course Calendar.