Students complete USCG captain’s license training at 500 Sails CMTC

Posted on Feb 09 2023


The first cohort celebrates after passing the U. S. Coast Guard certified training for captains’ licenses last week at the 500 Sails Cultural Maritime Training Center in Lower Base, Saipan. (500 SAILS)

The 500 Sails Cultural Maritime Training Center in Lower Base, Saipan, graduated its first cohort of students for U. S. Coast Guard certified training for captains’ licenses last week. Twenty-three students completed training for the OUPV “6-Pack Captain’s License,” and 16 completed training for the upgrade to the master license.

OUPV stands for Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel. It is better known as the “6-Pack Captain’s License” because it allows its holder to carry up to six paying passengers on uninspected vessels up to 100 gross tons up to 100 miles offshore. The Master Near Coastal license allows the operator to carry seven or more paying passengers on uninspected and inspected vessels up to 200 miles offshore. Inspected vessels are subject to more rigid USCG Commercial Vessel Inspection standards.

Many of the students also successfully completed the Assistance Towing Endorsement, which was added to their certificates. The students will receive a Certificate of Passing from Adams Marine Seminars for the USCG exams they took, as well as their CPR and First Aid Certificate. The students have up to a year to complete the rest of the requirements if they have not already done so prior to their class. Once all requirements have been fulfilled, students can apply for their licenses to use their boats for charter, work as a paid captain or mate, and operate water taxis, fishing boats, boat deliveries, etc.

According to CMTC director Marjorie Atalig Daria, a captain’s license is especially valuable here in the CNMI. “It opens doors to well-paying professions on the water and expands our local maritime workforce. Seventy-six percent of our students were of Chamorro and Carolinian heritage and more were trying to get in, even after we exceeded capacity. This says a lot about what our people are looking for—to make a living doing what they love to do.”

Pete Seman, who successfully passed all three courses, agrees. He said a career on the water has been a lifelong interest. “My family has been into fishing and out on the open water since I was very young,” Seman said. “I’ve been interested in getting my captain’s license to improve my safety and knowledge on the water. I’m going to go into business to try to use the license.”

Daria was pleased with the turnout for the classes, especially given three of the students were from Tinian. She also noted that many of the students were able to afford the training, thanks to funding provided by the Administration for Native Americans’ Strategic Economic Development Strategies grant, Taotao Tåsi – Maritime Career Pathways that also funded the development of the CMTC.

The CMTC will continue to offer USCG training as well as courses in other maritime training tracks such as the American Red Cross Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor classes, Traditional Canoe Fabrication and Repair, Traditional Sailing and Voyaging, and Traditional Navigation. Information about these tracks is online at

500 Sails is a 501(c)(3) and CNMI tax-exempt nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving, promoting, and preserving the maritime cultural traditions of the Mariana Islands through community engagement in canoe cultural values and activities. More information about 500 Sails and its programs can be found on the500 Sails website at (PR)

Press Release
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