Dave Burrage, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium‘s Mississippi Extension Leader and Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension professor of marine resources at the Coastal Research and Extension Center, is trained to certify marine safety instructors who are sailors on commercial vessels. Two Mississippi sailors he trained survived an on-the-water collision that sunk one boat in the Gulf of Mexico last year.
Burrage works with project coordinator Peter Nguyen to provide the marine safety instructor training offered through the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, or AMSEA. The U.S. Coast Guard requires that all commercial boats have at least one AMSEA license-holder on board. They usually host one or two AMSEA classes a year in Mississippi and help out as guest instructors for one or two others in Alabama, Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle. They have trained about 200 sailors to date.