Vessel and Operations Coordinator

Cardinal Point Captains, Inc. (CPC) is seeking an experienced and well-qualified vessel and operations coordinator to provide vessel support to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) in Key West, FL. FKNMS operates a fleet of 16 small boats ranging from 20’ to 39’ in length. 

A qualified person is required to assist in managing the FKNMS small boats, ensuring they are operated and maintained in compliance with USCG and NOAA policies and regulations. The vessel and operations coordinator is needed to assist the FKNMS Superintendent with vessel personnel assignments and cruise requirements, based upon the sanctuary’s mission requirements and vessel maintenance. 


  • Ensure FKNMS small boats are operated and maintained in compliance with NOAA Small Boat Program requirements.
  • Coordinate and support emergent repairs to FKNMS small boat assets if and when required. Provide oversight during shipyard and repair periods.
  • Provide and coordinate vessel schedules and work packages in consultation with FKNMS management.
  • Coordinate with NMS sites and partners to develop cruise plans for vessels of opportunity including ships, ROVs, and manned submersibles.
  • Ensure current training for vessel operator and crewmembers; and keep record of credentials and qualifications.
  • Comply with safety stand-downs per NOAA procedures.
  • Schedule vessel maintenance and dry dock periods per NOAA procedures and in coordination with the site management. Provide oversight during shipyard and repair periods.
  • Review of all Project Instructions to an approving authority including Cruise Plans, and Float Plans, as directed.
  • Assist FKNMS in physical facilities assessments and planning as it relates to vessel operations.
  • Represent FKNMS in vessel-related intra- and inter-agency meetings and partnerships, as necessary.
  • Coordinate vessel and annual schedules for FKNMS.
  • Coordinate annual vessel Requests for Proposal (RFP) process.
  • Schedule vessel maintenance and dry dock periods per NOAA procedures.
  • Coordinate arrangements for vessel departures, arrivals, mobilizations and de-mobilizations.
  • Help oversee vessel crew and project manning.
  • Review, revise, and implement pertinent policies and regulations related to NOAA small boats and applicable facilities.
  • Coordinate and track training and resulting credentials of vessel operators, crew members, FKNMS staff members.
  • Develop annual vessel accomplishment report.
  • Assist FKNMS in maritime facilities assessments and planning.
  • Serve as vessel operator or crew member, if qualified, for small boat underway missions, as required.
  • Lead field operations, as required.
  • Be ready and available for emergency responses.


Required certifications and experience

  • Possess an active USCG Masters license (100 tons or above) and/or a degree from an accredited college or university in Marine Resource Management, Biology, Geology, Environmental Studies, Maritime Archaeology, electrical or mechanical engineering or related scientific fields (Bachelor’s degree and four years of additional experience may be substituted in lieu of advanced degree).
  • At least five (5) years of experience providing coordination and management of site/vessel crew, operations, maintenance, and scheduling.
  • Experience with NOAA vessel operations/coordination, or similar research vessel management is required.
  • Experience mobilizing research cruises, including tracking personnel and preparing and approving cruise instructions, purchasing and organizing field gear, and coordinating with research vessel operations personnel.
  • Physically able to lift and carry 50 pounds to assist with mission mobilization and maintenance.

Highly desired skills and experience

  • Familiarity with operating and navigating marine vessels in Florida Keys’ waters.
  • Current Frist Aid, CPR and AED certifications.
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