First Aid & CPR Requirements for a coast guard captains license

First Aid and CPR requirements for a Coast Guard Captains License

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.

9 thoughts on “First Aid and CPR requirements for a Coast Guard Captains License”

  1. Andrew j Erli jr

    I took the heart saver first aid cpr aed from American Red Cross and the coast guard rejected my certificate for lack of course code. My instructor is in the dark about it as well. Now I’m in jeopardy of being denied my captains license . Please help shed some light on this situation.

    1. The Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED course from American Heart Association is approved by the Coast Guard for the captains licensing process. You would need to have completed the written exam (it’s optional in non Coast Guard programs) and be issued an AHA eCard that reflects the written exam was completed. Your instructor also needs to issue a Coast Guard certificate from AHA which contains the course code. They can get this certificate from their Training Center.

      You mentioned American Red Cross in your comment – I don’t know whether their program is approved or their process for obtaining the right documentation.

          1. IMO the USCG needs to up their knowledge of the CPR level of instruction. I have a co-worker at the Fire Dept who is getting his license and he was told his Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers with AED is not valid for this license, even though it is a HIGHER level of training than Heartsaver (I am an AHA instructor). It is like the other co-worker who was told he did not qualify for a job that required EMT because he only had his Paramedic (2 levels higher).

  2. Is this course accepted by the USCG for OUPV License?
    Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED (120817157)
    Thank you.

    1. Yes, Heartsaver courses are approved but your instructor will need to issue the proper certificate and have you complete the written exam.

    1. While it is ideal and responsible to maintain CPR and First Aid credentialing as a Captain, the USCG only requires the certificate be presented during initial licensure and not for renewals.

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