ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Marine Charter Association (NMCA) celebrated its first anniversary this week by unveiling the marine charter industry's first accreditation program, the association reported in a statement today.
The NMCA said it had developed a program of voluntary self-regulation for marine charter vessels, called the Accredited Vessel Inspection Program (A-VIP), after suggestions from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board, to take a leadership role on safety issues.
A-VIP, which will begin this May, establishes preferred industry operating practices, equipment standards, and safety measures for the operation of both uninspected and inspected charter boats, NMCA said.
It builds upon current Coast Guard safety requirements and adds measures designed to better safeguard passengers, operators, crew, and the public, the association reported.
"A-VIP certified companies will receive discounts on insurance, show customers that they're committed to the highest standards of safety and ethics, and increase safety in the marine charter industry," said NMCA Executive Director Fiona Morgan.
The U.S. Coast Guard recognized NMCA's contributions to the safety of the charter industry by saying, "We consider your association an important conduit to . . . the charter boat industry," according to NMCA.