Local St. Maarten charter companies upgrade crew with STCW’95

POSTED: 09/19/11 1:44 PM

Lead Instructor Marco London (on the right with white T-shirt) with recent graduates of the STCW’95 course. (Photo contributed)

St. Maarten – Crew from Eagle Tours, Aquamania, Captain Morgan charters and several other crews from the island and abroad completed the STCW’95 course at the Maritime School of the West Indies recently. The school had offered the special “off season” course to enable charter crew are fully prepared for the upcoming tourist high season.

The STCW’95 is a five day MCA recognized safety course that is also required by law for anyone working on boats with paying passengers. The STCW’95 course consists of several modules; first aid, social responsibility, personal safety and survival techniques (life raft handling etc.) and fire fighting. Once crews complete the course they receive a certificate that can be presented to the Coast Guard and harbor authorities during inspections. Most of the course attendees during the high season are people that want to become crew on mega and super yacht, but local crews take the course in the off season so they are ready when the tourists begin arriving in massive numbers and their charter boats get busy.

The Maritime School of the West Indies offers also other courses like a Personal Watercraft course (for wave runners, jet ski’s etc. ), a small powerboat and RIB course, VHF radio, Mega Yacht Crew course, Bareboat captain, Master 200 Ton captain’s licenses and many more. The school is affiliated with the organization “International Yacht Training” and most of the courses are MCA recognized and internationally approved.

In addition to marine related courses, the Maritime School also teaches the Emergency Responder course for businesses, hotels etc., administered by the Dutch Institute for Emergency Response (NIBHV). This upcoming season the school will organize several special “clinics” with guest speakers and specialist instructors. The sessions will cover composite materials, marine paintings, rigging, electronics and other specific yachting related issues.
The Maritime School will also work with the Caribbean Sail Training Association again to offer Caribbean youth the opportunity to sail to Caribbean and European destinations as trainees on board several Tall Ships. These courses will start in December and continue into 2012. The school will also organize a “Maritime Experience Day” on board the Dutch sail training ship ” Eendracht” for all students in their final year of secondary school. The vessel is schedule to be here in the winter months.

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