Calif. college starting deckhand program

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California’s Orange Coast College will launch a new career program, Professional Mariner, to fill a need for experienced and educated deckhands to work on yachts and small commercial vessels.

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The two-semester program will begin in August with its first course offerings, Professional Mariner Level 1 (Marine Activities A151) and Boat Handling Skills (Marine Activities A152). Students will qualify for a Certificate of Achievement following completion of five required courses and three additional elective units in a related field.

Classroom work will take place on the OCC campus in Costa Mesa, while on-the-water training will be coordinated through OCC’s School of Sailing and Seamanship in Newport Beach. The sailing program is one of the country’s leading public recreational boating schools with a marina of more than 50 boats of all types and sizes.

An additional three courses will be offered next spring: Marine Basic Safety Training, Yachtkeeping and Engine Maintenance, and Navigation for Deckhands. Students completing the Marine Basic Safety Training course will earn the U.S. Coast Guard STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for seafarers) Certificate required by many maritime employers.

Course fees are $20 per unit, or $360 for the total 18 units required for the certificate. There are some additional on-the-water lab fees.

For information, visit www.orangecoastcollege.edu.

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