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What to Expect Once You Graduate – Prevention

Stefanie Senkow
March 24, 2021

LT SheehyNEW LONDON, Conn. – Prevent disasters and loss of life at sea and ashore. This is the job of a Coast Guard prevention expert. As a prevention officer you’ll protect people, ships, and critical infrastructure by inspecting vessels and performing investigations. Here’s what you can expect if your first tour is in the Marine Safety field.

You Will Be…

An apprentice marine inspector learning the complex federal and international regulations enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard, and training to understand the systems on the ships subject to these regulations.

“Inspecting cruise ships is my favorite,” said LT Jennifer Sheehy, Waterways Management Chief at Sector Long Island Sound. “In order to regulate, you need to understand the industry itself. The cruise ship industry is always trying to innovate and be the best, so you have to really think critically when it comes to seeing what they have onboard and making sure it adheres to safety rules.”

The Goal During Your First Two Tours Is…

To earn as many marine inspector qualifications as possible. Qualifications vary according to vessel type, with major differences between oil tankers, barges and commercial vessels like commuter ferrie, for instance. Being highly qualified in more regulatory areas means you have more options for your next assignment, and bring greater value to the Service and the marine industry served by the Coast Guard.

Great Performance Can Lead To…

Graduate school opportunities in Chemical Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering, Homeland Security, Industrial Hygiene and Marine Engineering to name a few. You can expect assignments to the Marine Safety Center, reviewing vessel plans, or the opportunity to lead inspection operations as the Chief of Inspections. You will respond to marine casualties to see what went wrong, who is responsible, and how regulations can be updated to prevent future accidents.

As Chief of Waterways Management, LT Sheehy works with current and emerging industries (like offshore wind).

“The work you do has the potential to save countless lives,” said Sheehy. “We were inspecting a freighter. The life raft on the freighter had an expired inspection certificate. We delayed the ships scheduled departure and mandated that they get the life raft inspected. Not long after, that freighter sank during Hurricane Joaquin. Twelve lives were saved using the life raft that the Coast Guard required they get inspected.”

See what careers and outcomes await you as a Coast Guard officer!