As the fishing season has begun and is rapidly getting busy, we want to provide information to help your season not be disrupted. Since the late 80’s the USCG has required all Captains and crews to be enrolled in a DOT approved random drug testing program. This requirement applies to all passenger carrying vessels, guide boats, uninspected 6 passenger vessels, and all USCG COI vessels. All USCG licensed Captains must be enrolled and any crew member who is required to help in any safety sensitive work on the vessel. Safety sensitive includes but is not limited to, tying and untying the vessel, assisting passengers in anyway, assisting in fishing activities, pretty much everything except a crew member who is a food handler or bartender.
The Captain and crew must be in a DOT approved random drug program and have a valid membership card. In addition the USCG requires that each vessel have a valid alcohol testing kit to test any crew member, including the Captain in case of an accident or injury to any crew member or passenger. These alcohol testing kits are a simply swab that provides an indication of alcohol consumption. You can find these alcohol kits online for an inexpensive price. Be sure and check the date of expiration.
We are providing this information again because should the USCG board your vessel or check your vessel at the dock and there is no proof of compliance, the USCG can shut your vessel down and not allow you to sail until they have proof of compliance. If no one is in a random program in order to join an approved urine test must be taken and the results be negative to join a program. In some cases it can take 2 to 3 days for the test results to come back which could cost 2 to 3 days of no trips and disgruntled customers. We encourage all members to ensure they are in compliance.
NACO offers The Charterboat Consortium as a membership benefit to its members through our drug consortium partner, Gulf South Resources located in Foley, Alabama and they are happy to provide you with any and all information necessary to be in compliance.
If you have any questions they will be glad to answer. Their contact number is 877-847-4860 and their web site is http://charterboatdrugtest.com/index.html