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Posted: September 27, 2010

AMO wins in Alaska ocean ranger RFP

The State of Alaska Sept. 23 awarded a new contract for the Ocean Ranger Program to Maersk Line Limited. American Maritime Officers will continue to represent all ocean rangers working in the state program.

AMO members have been sailing in the Alaska Ocean Ranger Program since its inception in 2008. Like the initial ocean ranger contract Alaska had with Crowley, the new contract provides for up to 35 ocean rangers. The new contract with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation features a 15-month base period and three one-year options, which would extend the contract to four years if all options are exercised.

Ocean rangers sail aboard cruise ships while they are in Alaskan waters and monitor shipboard operations involving safety, security and environmental protection. The cruise season in Alaska runs from April through September.

The bidding on this state request for proposals (RFP) was fierce, with six companies submitting packages in response to the RFP. Of the bidders, three were AMO-contracted companies, two were non-union companies and one was affiliated with another officers' union.

To work as ocean rangers, AMO members will need to complete the specialized Ocean Ranger Course developed and provided by STAR Center.

Minimum requirements for work as an ocean ranger differ for Alaska residents and non-Alaskans. For non-Alaskans, there is a minimum requirement for a third assistant engineer's license or higher. For Alaska residents, an ocean ranger candidate must either be a Designated Duty Engineer or a person who holds a degree in marine safety and environmental protection, or an equivalent course of study approved by the State of Alaska, from an accredited maritime educational institution.

The contract award is subject to a protest period, during which unsuccessful bidders on the RFP can file protests with the state. AMO will publish updates as more information becomes available.