Seattle-based Fremont Maritime Services has merged its wide range of Coast Guard-approved basic training and safety programs, including its India Tango Marine Firefighting Training Program, into the larger MITAGS-PMI educational organization.

“Combining our two great schools will not only make MITAGS-PMI a superior training organization, it will also enable us to better serve our students and customers,” Glen Paine, executive director, MITAGS-PMI, said in a statement announcing the deal. “This merger is the culmination of more than a year’s research, hard work and planning. By joining forces we will realize the benefits of operating efficiencies, expanded facilities, and additional course offerings to meet the growing demand for our services, particularly in the Seattle area. Our two schools have worked successfully together in the past. Now we can go forward into the future as one.”

Fremont Maritime will become part of MITAGS-PMI’s Seattle facility, the Pacific Maritime Institute, headed by Bill Anderson. All other aspects of the two programs will remain the same.

Jon Kjaerulff, founder of Fremont Maritime, said: “This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for me and the Fremont team. MITAGS/PMI has the size, connections and resources to pursue new opportunities, which draw upon Fremont’s expertise and facilities, and they can market our services to a much bigger audience. Fremont Maritime’s legacy will continue under the new organization, even if the name eventually goes away."

Fremont was founded in 1989 by Capt. Jon Kjaerulff, who believed many mariners were “dying of ignorance” every year when their vessels suffered emergencies at sea. Even though vessels were often outfitted with high-quality survival equipment, many mariners did not possess the most basic training on how to properly use the equipment. In the early days he conducted training onboard company vessels, primarily because he did not have the resources to develop a fixed-base training facility.

Currently Fremont operates out of a comprehensive training center located in Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal, but Fremont’s instructors still travel worldwide, training hundreds of mariners on their own vessels or in their home ports. Twenty-eight years after its founding, Fremont offers an array of U.S. Coast Guard-approved safety and survival classes, as well as many programs developed in response to specific customer requirements.

Pacific Maritime Institute began as the Maritime Administration’s Pacific Coast radar school and was acquired by the MMP-Mates Program in the early 1980s. The school was then renamed Pacific Northwest Radar School and today is known as the Pacific Maritime Institute. It is based in downtown Seattle on the waterfront next to the U.S. Coast Guard base. It occupies a 16,000-sq.-ft. building with extensive classrooms, three full-mission bridge simulators, radar, ARPA, ECDIS, GMDSS and medical labs.

MITAGS-PMI is a nonprofit vocational training center for individuals seeking to enter the maritime profession and for professional mariners seeking to advance their careers. With campuses in Baltimore and Seattle, it offers maritime training, pilot programs, ship simulation and operational research, providing customized solutions for both individual companies and members of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.