JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard and Alaska Marine Highway System successfully established their first ever Mutual Training Agreement after an inaugural ship ride between the two agencies Dec. 7-14, 2015.
Four Coast Guard Sector Juneau marine inspectors completed the inaugural ship ride onboard the motor vessel Malaspina, and sailed from Juneau to Bellingham, Washington, and back, working alongside the vessel's crew.
Throughout the voyage, inspectors conducted training with various crewmembers ranging from purser to vessel master covering life-saving drills, firefighting, navigation, and machinery equipment. During the process, inspectors educated crewmembers about defects of personal floatation devices (PFD), resulting in several PFDs being destroyed and removed from the ship. The ship's crew worked with the inspectors on their ships systems, helping them understand how the operation of the vessel works from the mariner's point-of-view.
"Overall, the MTA's inaugural ship ride was a huge success, allowing Coast Guard inspectors and Alaskan mariners an opportunity to gain a mutual understanding for one another while sharing experience, education, and expertise to better serve each other and the public," said Lt. Ryan Butler, Sector Juneau marine inspector. "The time aboard also afforded the inspectors an opportunity to work with each other and the mariner to complete inspection qualifications vital to the safe operations of ferry's operating on the harsh and unforgiving Alaskan waters."