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Published: July 21st 2021
So... after being on yachts for the past 6 years, I decided I should get some basic qualifications. I was inspired by the Captain and Crew on MY Bravado when I crewed from Langkawi to Singapore, and I loved the experience. It makes me realise how much I have taken on looking after Aria on my own.
I decided to book a Maritime and Coastguard Agency approved Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) course in Phuket Yacht Haven. One, for my own progress and to keep my options open for new opportunities and for my own safety on possible passages on Aria.
We were thrown in initially with our Security awareness followed by an examination, it's starting to sink in what I'm letting myself in for! Security awareness is all about security plans, company and ship security officer roles, codes of conduct, levels of security in various situations i.e. piracy, armed robbery. Codes to follow i.e. ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security), IMO (International Maritime Organisation), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Access to vessels, security for cargo, passengers, stores and loading, this is going to be a real learning curve.
Fire prevention and fire fighting began with slides and theory again followed by an examination. Prevention using drills and training, good housekeeping, elimination or control of ignition sources, safe practices and emercy exits and signals etc. Difference in extinguishers for different types of fires and how to use them. The fire triangle and how to eliminate either the oxygen, fuel or heat and methods to extinguish. And demonstrating our learning in the fire ship, suited up with the full fire suits and breathing apperatus and extinguishing fires and saving casualties.
Personal Survival Techniques dealing with emergencies i.e.collisions, abandon ship procedures, grounding, flooding, man overboard, cargo shift etc. and recognising, raising alarms and recognising their meaning, reporting, following procedures. Use of life jackets, life rafts, flares, markers for position, EPIRBs, SARTs. Contents of rafts, how to launch, how to right a capsized raft, principals of survival including your will to live!
Elementary First Aid, procedures to follow on identifying a casualty and your priorities. Using DRABC (Danger, Response, Airway, Breathing, Circulation), CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation), AED (Automated External Defibrillator), Recovery position. Choking situations, wounds, bleeding, shock, burns, treatments and transportation of the casualty. Followed
by practical assessment.
Personal safety and social responsibilty, complying with emergency procedures, musterlist, recognising emergency alarms and following the appropriate procedures, onboard training and drills, escape routes, and communication. Precautions to prevent pollution of the marine environment, identifying, the effects, and regulations which must be adheared to. Observing safe working practices with shipboard hazards, operations such as loading and unloading cargos, morring and unmooring, working in enclosed spaces, hot work etc. Protective equipment from googles, gloves, ear muffs, masks etc. And communication on board from spoken and verbal, written and dealing with barriers physical, emotional, cultural. Language barriers, having nothing in common, lack of eye contact etc. and how to deal with. Team building and interpersonal relations on board and recognising and dealing with fatigue, stress, drugs and alcohol.
So all in all an informative, practical education for expectations and safety of life at sea. I was pleased to receive the qualifications for all these catagories and my STCW course.
Proficiency in Security Awareness
Proficiency in Elementary First Aid
Proficiency in Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting
Proficiency in Personal Survival Techniques
Proficiency in Personal Safety & Social Responsibility
Let's see where this takes me now!
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