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The United States Coast Guard is responsible for licensing Captains who will be operating passenger carrying or commercial vessels.

There are two primary licenses issued by the Coast Guard – the Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (six-pack or charter boat captain’s license) and the 25, 50, or 100-Ton Master License.

The Six-pack Captain’s License allows the holder to carry up to six paying passengers plus crew on uninspected vessels up to 100 gross tons. This is the most common license for charter fishing, small tour boats, and diving expeditions.

The 25, 50, or 100-Ton Master License allows the holder to operate inspected vessels and uninspected vessels carrying more than six paying passengers. This is the license that would be required for larger tour boats, ferry boats, and water taxis.

Regardless of the type of license required, the USCG requires that the Captain receive training in an approved First Aid and CPR program such as the American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED course.

If you need First Aid or CPR certification for a USCG Captain’s License, please register for the approved training here and then contact Code One to let us know that you are applying for a Captain’s license so we can adequately prepare the paperwork for your training.

AEDs for Vessels

USCG Captains should consider including an AED on their emergency equipment list. Passengers who experience cardiac arrest onboard a vessel have only minutes to receive lifesaving care including CPR and a shock from a defibrillator. In remote areas, it can take significantly longer for rescue personnel to arrive. AED units are inexpensive and can be operated safely aboard a vessel.

Purchase the small and durable HeartSine samaritan 350P AED for $1,245 at and receive a free waterproof Pelican AED case ($200 dollar value). Simply mention this article in your order notes.

Article Notes:

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has approved the AHA’s Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Course as meeting the USCG Elementary First Aid* training requirements of:

  • Elementary First Aid per STCW Code Table A-VI/1-3;
  • Elementary First Aid per 46 CFR 11.302(a)(3) and 46 CFR 12.602(a)(3);
  • The first aid and CPR training requirements of 46 CFR 11.201(i)(1)

*All elective sections of Heartsaver First Aid with CPR AED (AMERHA-216) must be given.

AHA Instructors should provide this certificate to any maritime personnel that require the certificate to accompany their Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED course completion card upon successful completion of the course with all options completed and written exam. Certificate template can be downloaded from the AHA Instructor Network.