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STCW - Day 2

Day 2: Sea Survival

Meeting our new instructor Graeme and a few additional students who were taking part for the one day. We were back in the classroom learning about reasons for abandonment, and what inside of a life raft looks like and the things you should take with you before you abandon ship.

After looking at flares and trying on TPA (Thermal Protective Aid) we all joked saying it should be in Vogue magazine, we finally got to the most exciting part of the day, going in the pool! I have to admit it definitely felt weird walking into the swimming pool wearing t-shirt and shorts, especially when everyone around you is wearing their swimming costumes!

After we had been given our very attractive bulky luminous orange lifejackets, we all gathered by the deep end ready to jump in. We gathered in a circle to help support each other, 

also a good technique to watch out for sharks, we then (with some struggle at first) swam to the shallow end of the pool. We stood in two lines facing each other and were told splash the person opposite us in the face, though this may sound as it were just for fun it did have a purpose, it was to show why you need a spray hood.

Once a series of exercises were completed, we all clambered out of the pool and watched as the high pitch nitrogen gas filled our life raft, having been told to be careful not to touch it as there are ice crystals around the cylinders, we all climbed into the orange floating temple as the public watched in curiosity from the pool line. After a few minutes of becoming much attached to our humble home, we were shown the main entrance and exits and were told to climb out ready for the next task which would be practicing a wet entry. The most difficult part of a wet entry was trying to look elegant as we clambered in, which was a task which no one unfortunately accomplished.

We then swiftly moved onto the injured party, all standing on the poolside our instructor selected one person in the group without anyone knowing, to become injured when entering the pool. After everyone had entered we noticed our injured party floating lifelessly in the water, as a team we worked together to not only keep the injured person safe but also ourselves, bobbing along over to the life raft. The strongest person entered to help everyone in, leaving two people behind to help lift in the injured casualty.

When the pool session ended, we then returned back to the classroom for lunch and also to carry on with the rest of the day. We then were taught what to do if you were ever abandoned out at sea. Discussing the types of drills on boats and their values, to how to approach the situation when a helicopter comes to rescue you.

We finished the exciting and most definitely fun day, ready for tomorrow where we would start the personal safety and social responsibility & personal security awareness and the firefighting and fire prevention elements of the course.