Coast Guard, cruise industry partner to improve safety, increase knowledge


USCG Cruise Ship Rider Program

Members of Coast Guard Sector Anchorage are recognized for their participation in an ship rider program aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess in September 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

By Ensign Victoria Stockton

On Aug. 11 Sector Anchorage began the first Merchant Marine Indoctrination Ship Rider Course with cruise ships in Alaska, forming an alliance with Princess Cruise Lines to allow Coast Guard foreign passenger vessel examiners to travel aboard their cruise ship for two weeks to shadow their crewmembers.

From Aug. 11 to Sept. 22 three examiners, Chief Warrant Officer Israel Nieves, Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Skeen and Petty Officer 1st Class Emily Clore begin this historic voyage. Working alongside the Diamond Princess’ crew, these members learned hands on the roles and responsibilities of cruise ship crewmembers.

This vigorous two week industry training course began by learning the complex workings of cruise ship management, cruise ship safety, security and pollution prevention. This also included learning the intricate workings of a cruise ship’s fixed fire fighting systems, life saving appliances and pollution prevention control, as well as tracking and mitigation strategies that ensure Alaska’s waters stay pristine.

“The alliance we have started to build with Princess Cruise Lines in Western Alaska is the first of its kind,” said Lt. j.g. Ryan Butler, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage prevention department, chief of port state control. “The Alaskan Cruise Ship Rider Program will open the doors for additional training opportunities throughout Alaska and nationally, helping our current and future foreign passenger vessel examiners gain a practical knowledge of a cruise ships inner workings.”

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