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  • 3 people are interested

Vessel Support Volutneer

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ORGANIZATION: Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

  • 3 people are interested

Vessel Support volunteers will participate in offshore operations at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and surrounding offshore areas. This work will be done from the R/V Sam Gray. This position supports the Vessel Operations Coordinator (VOC) and the on-duty vessel Operator In Charge (OIC) and missions aboard. There is potential for vessel handling training and back-deck leadership experience. Expect exposure to varying sea states, inclement weather conditions, sun, wind, rain, intense heat in summer and frigid waters in winter, and potentially hazardous aquatic marine life (jellyfish, hydroids, other venomous animals). Special training is required to follow the NOAA Small Boat Program. With support of the VOC, portions of vessel maintenance and upkeep of safety equipment aboard both vessels will be included. Other responsibilities may be assigned as needed.

Under the direction of the VOC, vessel support volunteers may:

  • Assist the vessel OIC with vessel preparation for various missions
  • Support crew and vessel safety while docked, underway, or on station
  • Assist docking at arrival and departure as instructed by vessel OIC
  • Serve as lookout during departure and arrival to coastal waters
  • Support onboard missions providing assistance with vessel equipment

Volunteers for this position must be over 18 years of age.

With support from the Volunteer Coordinator, each applicant shall

  • Complete and submit the volunteer application packet and background check
  • Submit fingerprints as part of the NOAA volunteer background check

With support from the VOC, each volunteer shall

  • Review the NOAA Small Boat Operations Manual
  • Complete the Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) for each vessel being supported
  • Complete a crew training and check out with the VOC

Optional trainings/certifications recommended for this position include:

  • Boater Safety and Seamanship Course through the US Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • CPR/AED/First Aid certification (attainable through the sanctuary)
  • Oxygen Administration certification (attainable through the sanctuary)
Vessel support volunteers are expected to support a minimum of 4 sanctuary research missions per year. Missions may take place on weekdays and weekends. Missions may depart as early as 7:00 AM and return as late as 7:00 PM.

1 More opportunity with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

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About Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary


10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, US

Mission Statement

The mission of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is to identify, protect, conserve, and enhance the natural and cultural resources, values, and qualities of the sanctuary for current and future generations.


Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary is an ocean park teeming with life. The natural live-bottom habitats of the sanctuary are representative of others across the region. The sanctuary provides year-round opportunities for sport fishing, recreational diving, and boating. The research area within the sanctuary hosts one of the only designated no-take zones in the region, which makes Gray's Reef a catalyst for scientific research studying water quality, ocean noise, hurricane prediction, and climate change. Gray's Reef is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries - the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters.

The 22 square-mile sanctuary protects a vibrant, hard-bottom ocean area off the Georgia coast, about 19 miles east of Sapelo Island, and 40 miles southeast of historic Savannah, Georgia. The average depth of the sanctuary is 65 feet.

Volunteers at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary have supported the sanctuary and contributed to its success for over forty years. This long-term support from volunteers is critical to every aspect of sanctuary including research, public events, scientific research, supporting the sanctuary’s research vessels, and providing programs at the Gray’s Reef Ocean Discovery Center.


Sports & Recreation
Environment, Sports & Recreation


We'll work with your schedule.


10 Ocean Science CircleSavannah, GA 31411



  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Water Recreation




  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • Vessel support volunteers are expected to support a minimum of 4 sanctuary research missions per year. Missions may take place on weekdays and weekends. Missions may depart as early as 7:00 AM and return as late as 7:00 PM.

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