Posted by TroyJ on March 11, 2001 at 23:38:20:
In Reply to: Mesasge base getting large... I am not a guide! posted by Kerry Grissett on March 11, 2001 at 21:52:37:
Looks to me like you'd make a pretty good guide Kerry. If you need info on where to start, let me know. I've been guiding for a long time. Full time for the last 5 years. The USCG informed a number of us here recently that without the USCG license on Alabama waterways, we are in violation of Federal law. Waterways include the Coosa, Tennessee, Chattahootchee, Talapoosa and most Alabama waterways. Enforcement begins in April and there are stiff penalties for non-compliance. Insurance is also NOT valid if a guide is not in compliance with the law. (Title 46 United States Code Section 8903). I talked with the Commander in Nashville after receiving my information from the Coast Guard. I've already taken most of the required classes. CPR/first aid, finger printing and a mandatory random drug testing is also required for certification. Only one other guide that I know has completed the course and has the license. Many more are now taking the course to comply with the law. The USCG is accepting the USCG course offered by the Auxillary. This is MUCH better than making us take the tug captains test, and much less expensive. It still allows us to carry 6 or less passengers for hire on the designated navigable water ways, including certain coastal regions. My understanding is that they will begin using undercover people to book trips with guides who are advertising services on Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Missippi waterways. They found me going through the Internet. They found some of my buddies who guide by seeing them at the boat shows. Once they fish with you and hand you the money, they ask for your certification, if you don't have it, you get busted. The fine is 25k per day according to the packet I received. Total cost for compliance is going to be around 300 bucks for my initial certification. Add my annual $1500.00 commercial insurance for two boats, city, state and county business license, advertising and massive operation, gas, tackle, and other costs and it turns into a JOB. But, I love it anyway. I have so far found the courses to be very informative. The Auxillary people have been SUPER good at helping us and the classes are not hard at all. My understanding is that these regulations will be enforced upon full and part time guides. Anyone wanting further info can contact me about the regulations and I'll give you the numbers to call. They will tell you if you need the license. However, if you guide anywhere in Alabama, you'll probably need it.
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