The AMHS Safety Commitment

The safety of our crew and passengers is the highest priority for the Alaska Marine Highway System. We adhere to all safety regulations established by the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Transportation and the Code of Federal Regulations which meet all required regulatory standards. From vessel design and operation to crew training and rescue equipment, safety is our first concern.

Formal safety audits are conducted on our vessels periodically by the Alaska Marine Highway System's Safety Officer. These audits are conducted to identify and correct potential hazards for both passengers and crew. The Alaska Marine Highway has also adopted the International Safety Management (ISM) code, which is a standard management system designed to ensure safety at sea, prevention of human injury, prevent the loss of life and property while enhancing avoidance of damage to the environment (in particular the marine environment).

Emergency Preparedness

Marine Safety Drills are conducted weekly on all vessels to ensure the highest safety standards for Alaska Marine Highway System passengers and crews. From the bridge officers and crew, engineers and dining room staff all crew members are U.S Coast Guard certified to deal with emergency situations. As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, operational guidelines call for regular, frequent boat and fire drills for all crew members on every ship. Fire suppression in both machinery and passenger spaces are continually inspected for proper operation. These systems are designed to quickly suppress fires at their source.

When traveling on the marine highway please familiarize yourself with the emergency exit plan. In the event of an emergency, audio alarms consisting of bells and/or the ships whistle will be heard. Upon hearing these alarms you will be instructed by the ship’s crew on how to proceed by an announcement explaining the nature of the emergency. In the event of an emergency, please move away from the areas of concern and always follow the instructions of ship's crew. You are also asked to avoid using elevators or going to the vehicle decks unless otherwise instructed.

If the ship needs to be evacuated our crews are trained to provide emergency evacuation direction and assistance to passengers for their safety. Our vessels are equipped with a Marine Evacuation System (MES). This is a lifesaving device found on many modern passenger ships consisting of an inflatable slide or chute where passengers can evacuate straight into waiting life rafts. In total, the life rafts can accommodate more people than the maximum the ship will ever take.

Medical Services

Each vessel has the ability to provide basic emergency medical service with training of personnel at the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level. In the event of a medical emergency the ship’s crew will determine the best course of action and direct the vessel to the closest port where medical facilities or services are available.

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