New Water Safety Instructors Certified
BY ADAM KOWALSKI, ALPENA FWCO AND
MIDWEST FISHERIES REGIONAL OFFICE
recent course held in Bayfield, WI. Credit: Brenda Kelly, Wisconsin DNR
During the week of May 6th, the Midwest Region’s Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC) Instructor team conducted a Motorboat Operator Instructor Certification Course (MOICC) at Bayfield, Wisconsin. Seven Department of Interior (DOI) students, along with one State of Wisconsin DNR partner student, were mentored and certified as Watercraft Safety Instructors. New instructors are trained and added to the regional MOCC group cadre each year or two, to compensate for losses due to retirements and transfers. There are currently 32 FWS certified watercraft safety instructors in this region.
The following is a list of topics covered during the course: DOI and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) Policy, Planning and Conducting a Course, Emergency Procedures, Rules of the Road /Aids to Navigation, Instructional Techniques, Testing and Evaluation, Marlinspike, Boat Orientation, Visual Distress Signals, Trailering, On the Water Boat Handling, Survival Techniques, Required and Recommended Equipment, Float Plans and GAR Model, Towing, and Trailer Orientation.
The Midwest Region is a Service and DOI leader in watercraft safety course development, and has been providing employees with watercraft safety training since 1991. The basic 24-hour Motorboat Operator Certification Course, (MOCC), is mandatory for all employees and volunteers who operate a Service motorboat. In addition to the MOCC, there are six specialized training modules offered: Airboat, Winter Airboat Operation, Open Water, Non-Motorized (canoes/kayaks), Shallow-Water Drive Specialty Motorboats, and the M/V Spencer F. Baird Course. The Airboat module provides training to students on safe airboat operations. The Winter Airboat Module focuses on operating an airboat in cold weather on ice, snow, and open-water. Rescue and survival techniques are also part of the curriculum.
and Student Instructors. Credit: Brenda Kelly,
The M/V Spencer F. Baird Safety Module is a mandatory course for all Service personnel who plan to work aboard this vessel. The M/V Baird Module provide students with a working knowledge of the vessel, life saving techniques, in water survival, emergency egress, and many other factors to be aware of while working aboard the vessel. The Open Water Module is optional and provides training to students who operate on the Great Lakes and focuses on boat handling, charting and navigation, life saving techniques, and much more. All modules, except the Non-Motorized and the M/V Spencer Baird Module, require students to successfully complete the basic MOCC course prior to enrolling.
The student-instructors reported that they learned a great deal and felt that this course gave them the expertise and tools needed to be successful instructors. A sincere “thank you” is due to all the supervisors who support the DOI Watercraft Safety Training Program by allowing their talented and committed employees to become instructors for the good of all Service watercraft operators and crews.