Alaska Fishing Boat Safety

Alaska Fishing Boat Safety
Boating safety is extremely important in the remote Alaskan waters. Guides are required to obtain a Coast Guard Six Pack or Remote Waters of Western Alaska license and many recreational fishing boats choose to take the course as a voluntary measure of safety.

Flotation Devices

According to the Alaska Office of Boating Safety, all boaters must carry one United States Coast Guard approved flotation device for each person on board. With the exception of canoes, kayaks and boats under 16 feet in length, all boats must have one throw-able flotation device like a ring or seat cushion.


All boats less than 40 feet in length must have a load horn or whistle sound devise and all boats over 40 feet must have a whistle or horn on board. This makes allows boaters to signal other boats when visibility is limited.


All boats must have a visual distress signal and navigation lights are required for boating in low light conditions. It is also advised that boats use a GPS system and have radio contact with the Coast Guard.


The Alaska Office of Boating Safety offers courses for recreational and professional fishing boats. The Coast Guard also offers courses for Six Pack licensing and for Captain credentials. Advancing through the series of courses teaches fishing boats about safety by dealing with tides and adverse conditions.


Alaska waters are remote and all fishing boats must be aware of the conditions, tides and potential threats. Communication with the outside world through radio and GPS tracking provides a high measure of safety. Survival skills are also valuable in emergency situations.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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