U.S. Coast Guard License Preparation, Consultation Services, Professional Development Courses, and Professional books & Training Videos. Call 1-800-238-7113!
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About Us


In 1972 the Coast Guard established new requirements for licensing mariners who operate towboats on Western Rivers. The new rule introduced a series of examinations which must be successfully completed to qualify for an Operator Uninspected Towing Vessels (OUTV) license. Captain Billy Hutto and his wife Betty co-founded The River School to assist them in preparing to meet the academic requirements of the new license. From the very beginning, The River School focused on providing individual rivermen with personal support in dealing with regulations, applications, and examinations.

That tradition of support continues to this day. The past three decades have seen significant changes in the towing industry and Coast Guard licensing regulations. New requirements have been created for radar observer and tankerman endorsements. A new towing license has been implemented with a new entry level Steersman license. At each step of the way, the staff of The River School has been there, supporting rivermen and women.

The changes in the regulatory landscape have also changed The River School. While license preparation remains an important part of our business, we have broadened the range of services we provide. We’re more than just license prep!

Application Assistance

One of the most difficult tasks in obtaining a license is dealing with the Coast Guard paperwork. We can help! We’ve helped thousands of rivermen and inland mariners navigate the rocks, bends, and bars of the application process.

We provide a complete application package including all of the forms required for the license sought. Advice and assistance in completing the package is available via our toll-free phone number or email. Upon receipt, we review the package for completeness and contact you for any missing or incomplete information. Your pre-screened application package is then delivered to the Coast Guard REC in Memphis for processing. (Note: The Coast Guard provides express service for your application once we have prescreened it. This means a quicker turn-around for your license transaction.)

Training Courses

The River School offers a variety of courses, both those required by Coast Guard regulations and others for individual professional development. Our courses are all transportable making them convenient and cost effective. Our instructors are professionals with service in the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Merchant Marine and the river industry. All are highly qualified in their field and are experienced, proven training professionals.

Training courses offered by The River School include licensing, maritime security, radar, tankerman, and personal survival and river rescue.

Professional Books & Videos

The River School offers many professional books and training videos including Minutes to Live!, Mariner’s Guide to the Inland & International Rules, The River Radar Manual, Tank Barge Fire Safety, Towboat Fire Safety, Maritime Security Awareness, Regulations Handbook for Uninspected Towing Vessels, Regulations Handbook for Liquid Cargo Operations, and Regulations Handbook for Maritime Security.



The River School, 44 North Second Street, Suite 602, Memphis, TN 38103. Call 1-800-238-7113! Email: info@riverschool.com
Memphis, TN, USA info@riverschool.com Fax (901) 525-7006