3 January 2024
The Maritime Authority is in the process of developing Safety of Life at Sea standards that are appropriate to the Island, and over a period of time will be addressing three key areas of Safety Equipment, Survey of Vessels and Competency of Crew.
St Helena has an active boating community, including a small commercial fishing fleet, and marine tourism that contributes to the economy.
In the Maritime field, safety is paramount as there is a real and present risk to loss of life, and therefore with these services, all reasonable steps must be taken to ensure safety.
Historically and culturally, boat operating and safety at sea has been ingrained into St Helena’s seafaring community, and while local boat operators are experienced mariners, it has now become necessary to formalise safety standards.
To this end the Maritime Authority has, with support and funding, collaborated with the Blue Belt Programme to offer a pilot training package within the area of competency of crew. The training package has been developed to suit local operators and complements current experience, providing a platform for formal certification.
The training is a first step to developing safety standards for competency and will be delivered by National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) South Africa trainer, Mr Graeme Harding. Graeme has extensive professional knowledge and experience and is no stranger to St Helena, having been responsible for delivering training to the St Helena Sea Rescue Service since July 2015.
The Maritime Authority considers this training to be a pilot exercise, in considering the longer-term Safety of Life at Sea requirements for the Island and at this initial stage the training will be delivered to SHG staff involved in marine related work which requires the use of multiple vessels, and vessel contractors who support fisheries and conservation projects under the Blue Belt Programme.
This is an excellent opportunity for St Helena to provide evidence that all safety aspects are heading towards international standards. It gives assurance of safety measures when conducting marine related work, and takes a practical approach to establishing compliance within the local boating community.
The training is due to run from Monday 8 January to Friday 19 January 2024, and trainees are expected to undertake both practical (at sea) and theory sessions.
Those participating in this training have already been selected, however, vacant spaces may become available at short notice.
If you are a local boat owner/operator interested in learning more or in attending the training (should a vacant space become available), please contact Head of Maritime, Mia Henry, by telephone on 25970 or via email through firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 9 January 2024.
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