Did you know, “STCW” refers to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers! It allows those who have this certification to legally work on vessels that go close to or in international waters. Along with this, STCW certificates are highly demanded by the industry with multiple employers such as the Canadian Coast Guard, BC Ferries and other companies requiring these certifications for their crew.

As like the other MED courses that Western Maritime Institute offers, these courses help a student get “job ready” for life as a deckhand or in other cases, allow a student to pursue higher certifications such as the Master 150GT CoC.

Each course has a theory and practical component that students will be required to complete to successfully hold their certificate. With this, each certificate is valid for a total of 5 years after which, a student may be required to take a MED Refresher. These refreshers will be mentioned in detail at a later time.

“I recently finished the MED STCW Survival Craft with Jerry Bowen as my Instructor. He had amazing knowledge of the course, with additional stories from his past experience. Western Maritime Institute brought us out to the docks to experience a TEMPSC boat and to a pool for Inflatable life raft and exposure suit training.”

-Erik Finnhansen

MED STCW Basic Safety Training (Formerly known as MED A1/ B2)

med training

Pictured above, one of our instructors, Serge with one of two TEMPSC crafts available to WMI for MED training.

For many, this 6 day course is the introduction to their future career or the first step to their upgrading of certifications. The course has three days of firefighting and is usually considered by WMI students to be a highlight of their experience on campus. As well as training with our fire simulator, students will deploy various life crafts, including our TEMPSC on campus as well as watching it in action at the Ladysmith Harbour.

It is important to note, there is one day during this course that students will be in the pool on campus. A question I have often heard is, “do I need to be able to swim?”. The answer is, no. Whilst it is recommended to have a basic understanding and comfortability in the water, the equipment that a student will have on whilst in the pool will assist to maintain the student’s buoyancy. If the student feels uncomfortable in the water or does not have the ability to swim, it is imperative that they inform the instructor. *The day at WMI’s pool is monitored closely by two instructors to maintain student safety at all times.

The aim of this course is to instruct students on personal survival techniques, personal safety and responsibility as well as basic firefighting. The exposure to various lifesaving equipment and machinery is vital- students will take this knowledge into the workforce to run drills and may use their knowledge in real life situations.

To explore our scheduled classes, click here: https://maritimeed.com/courses-availability/med-stcw-basic-safety-training-med-a1-b2/

MED STCW Survival Craft (Formerly known as MED B1)

This course often goes ‘hand in hand’ with the Basic Safety Training mentioned above. This 4 day course is generally a requirement for students who will work on vessels that have survival crafts such as the TEMPSC. BC Ferries, Canadian Coast Guard and others consider this course as a requirement for their deck crew. It is important to also note that the MED STCW Basic Safety Training along with the MED STCW Survival Craft are required courses for students who plan to pursue their Bridge Watch Rating certification- as will be mentioned in a later article.

Building on from the MED STCW Basic Safety Training, the purpose of this course will be to expand on knowledge acquired by the Basic Safety Training course- which students usually elect to take first. This course will heavily focus on operations such as deploying, operating and recovering davit-launched survival crafts as well as actions to take when abandoning a vessel. Students will also learn how to safely handle a survival craft in rough weather, and use survival equipment and rescue methods, including helicopter rescue. This course, like the other MED courses will heavily stress the requirement of safety in all operations on a vessel.

To explore our scheduled classes, click here: https://maritimeed.com/courses-availability/med-stcw-survival-craft-med-b1/

MED STCW Advanced Firefighting (Formerly known as MED C)

The MED STCW Advanced Firefighting course is a requirement for those who are seeking higher certifications such as their Chief Mate 150GT or the Master 150GT CoC. It is important to note, the pre-requisite to this course is the successful completion of the MED STCW Basic Safety Training, as mentioned in this article.

This 5 day course provides students with the skills for practical firefighting, organization and control, and aims to educate students about the hazards associated in the marine environment relating to fire safety. The course will discuss components of a ship fire such as the potential for abandoning ship, rescue, communication methods as well as detection and prevention of shipboard incidents.

Taking this course myself, the highlight of this course was the practical skills and assessment. Of many scenarios performed, one in particular stood out. We were placed into groups of two where the simulator that WMI has on campus is completely filled with smoke and no light is available to the student. The student and their chosen crew member must rely solely on their training, knowledge of the vessel and the SCBA gear that they have donned as they enter the simulator, navigate the stairs and compartments of the ‘vessel’ to locate a casualty, clear the casualty from the area and proceed outside to the safety of the deck. For me, I now work on a boat and this particular scenario is one that I will never forget. It reminds me to be conscious of my surroundings and to be aware of every compartment, the way the door swings open for entry, the location of fire equipment etc. This personally, was my favourite course that I took at WMI and I recommend it to any student looking to progress their own knowledge or career.

To explore our scheduled classes, click here: https://maritimeed.com/courses-availability/med-stcw-advanced-firefighting-med-b2-c/

For more information on our courses and enrollment, check out our website at: https://maritimeed.com/