Division of Research
Boating Safety Program
Mission and Purpose

The mission of the Florida International University’s Boating Safety Program is to effectively provide training, support and oversight for the operators of small vessels used in research. As such, we must develop and implement university policy; adopt acceptable community standards for training; educate and train members in both safe and environmentally sound boating practices.

The purpose of the Boating Safety Program is to ensure that all FIU research related boating is conducted in a manner that will maximize protection of passengers from accidental injury, and to set forth standards for training and certification for FIU personnel and their affiliates.

Scope

The FIU Boating program is responsible for all FIU sanctioned research activities involving the use of small vessels. This widespread reach applies to all individuals who wish to operate any vessel used for research under the auspices of the FIU regardless of ownership. This includes all disciplines at the Florida International University along with any of the FIU affiliate groups.

Operator Requirements

Three basic requirements must be met to conduct boating activities under the official auspices of FIU:

  1. All boats must be annually inspected by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and an inspection sticker affixed to the vessel in a prominent place.
  2. Meet crew requirements as outlined in the FIU Boating Safety manual.
  3. An FIU float plan must be filed with a responsible agent who will notify the appropriate authorities if the vessel becomes overdue, and a float plan copy should be filed with the FIU BSO. Note: Unless approved, the BSO does not normally act as the notifying agent if a vessel is overdue.

When utilizing commercial charter vessels it is normally assumed that the vessel owners will have adequate training, that vessels meet all Coast Guard requirements, and that float plan notification will be carried out by the vessel operators. However, it is a prudent action for FIU personnel engaging a charter company to enquire about their status.

When operating personal vessels, FIU personnel should always file a float plan copy with the BSO. By doing so, the activity becomes officially sanctioned and FIU liability for the excursion is extended.

Crew Requirements
Crew Chief Requirements:
  1. Successful completion of a boater education course approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). For more information visit http://www.myfwc.com/boating/safety-education/boater-education-id/.
  2. Pass the FIU Boating Safety Manual Examination to ensure full understanding of the FIU policies and procedures of safe boating.
  3. Completion of a Personal Qualification Standard checklist for the size of boat being used.
Crew Training
  1. Successful completion of a boater education course approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Science Crew, Student and Observer Training
  1. Science Crew, Students and Observers are permitted after they are instructed in basic safety requirements outlined for all personnel in this manual (e.g., must wear life jackets at all times, must sit in designated seating on the craft, etc.) by the crew chief.
  2. Science Crew, Students and Observers who are neither FIU students nor FIU employees must complete a SERC (http://sercweb.fiu.edu/forms/serc-release-and-waiver-of-liability.pdf), Aquarius Reef Base or University liability waiver form in advance of the trip.
  3. All Science Crew, Students and Observers participate solely at the discretion of the crew chief.
Training

The Boating Safety Office provides training to FIU research personnel involved in field and/or lab work. Training provided includes the following courses:

  • American Heart Association CPR/AED and First Aid
  • Advanced First Aid courses based on operational requirements
  • DAN Oxygen Administration
Policies and Procedures

All policies and procedures must be followed as outlined in the FIU Boating Safety Manual.

Vessel Safety Checklist

Float Plan

Boating Safety Manual

Boating Safety Update 10/2014

Need Assistance?

If you have any questions regarding the Boating Safety Program, please contact the Boating Safety Officer Mike Massaro. He can also be reached at: (305) 919-5228.