Lifeboat Training, Get it right the First Time
Because Mariners have been trained how to launch and recover a lifeboat in their compulsory STCW courses a certain level of proficiency is implied. It is a reasonable assumption of the master of a seagoing ship that the new crew member is already familiar with the standard equipment provided on modern vessels. Therefore only ship specific training will be necessary.
It is important for the crew to be confident that in a case of emergency he or she would be able to lower the boat, start the engine, let go the hooks and steer away from the vessel.
But what if the compulsory STCW training did not cover these basic skills, or only touched on them in a PowerPoint? For example, how does the lowering a lifeboat a few feet into a parking lot during training transfer to lowering a boat from a ship into a bouncy sea? It doesn’t. How do the mariners know how to start an engine if they were only trained in an open lifeboat propelled by oars? They can’t. How can they let go the hooks from a modern Central Release Unit if they were trained on an antiquated rottmer style offload system? They can’t. And how can they steer away from the vessel if the lifeboat they were trained on simply sat in the gravel parking lot? They can’t.
In other words – they’re screwed
Lifeboat crews need to be educated, they need to train regularly. They need to fully understand what maintenance needs to be done on the lifeboat and davit. They need to exercise caution at all times. And most importantly they need to get off on the right foot early in their career by receiving their STCW training with a course provider like Northwest Maritime Academy. NWMA trains mariners’ right the first time on the water using modern equipment including the latest hook release gear recommended by the IMO.
Are lifeboats really killing seafarers, or is it the lack of proper training? You be the judge. Comments appreciated, leave a reply below.