Captains course to weigh anchor in April
By DAN PARSONS, Staff Writer
When Bobby Rees looks to the future of Washington he sees a waterborne component to the sundry development along the Pamlico River. To fulfill what he feels will be a need for commercial boat captains, Rees is working with fellow captains to make it easier for area residents to get their Coast Guard certification.
Rees is working with Larry Walker, president and instructor of World Wide Marine Training in Oriental. Walker will be holding a training course in the old Park Boat Company building on U.S. Highway 17 from April 21 to April 28.
The instruction portion of the course is 56 hours and runs for seven consecutive days. Class hours will be 8 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. with the exam given at 8 a.m. on the eighth day. As many of 16 people will be able to sign up for the course and take the exam.
The USCG “Operator of Uninspected Vehicles” license allows the holder to captain any vessel weighing less than 100 gross tons with six paying passengers plus crew. Applicants must be 19 years old, must pass a physical exam and a drug test and must be U.S. citizens.
With a six-pak license, as it is often called, Rees envisions being able to charge up to $2,100 a day for a group of six. A private organization could provide day trips or “hops” to places like River Forest Manor, Hatteras Island, Ocracoke or deep sea fishing charters, according to a press release.
With real estate development and increased interest in tourism in the area, Rees admits that the organization he proposes may be a premature notion. The first step, he says, is to organize local licensed captains and those interested in becoming certified in hopes that his idea might become a reality
For more information or to sign up for the class contact Larry Walker at www.wegivethetest.com or leave a message for Bobby Rees at (252) 946-1700.