Strong feedback on training assets

Orange smoke flare from a liferaft- from the online training material
Orange smoke flare from a liferaft- from the online training material
Using a line launcher- from the online training material
Using a line launcher- from the online training material

When dealing with pyrotechnics, it is vital that seafarers know how to handle the devices safely, to understand how they work and to have had training in how to fire them confidently.

It has been widely researched and reported that seafarers around the world demand more interactive and engaging training to help prevent accidents at sea and support their wellbeing onboard, especially when on voyages for many months at a time. In general, E-learning has seen a spike in students, across a broad range of qualifications, highlighting a need for the ongoing development of interesting, computer-based training.

In response to this, and as previously reported by Maritime Journal, WesCom Signal and Rescue continues to research and develop the world’s leading marine distress signals and has introduced a new era of dedicated training assets across all of its branded SOLAS and non SOLAS products. Delivered through its partners and distributors, this includes dummy products which have been provided to over 120 training establishments in the last year alone to enhance their existing training facilities, and a series of training animations for its branded SOLAS products, which offer an alternative information source and a highly effective method of teaching.

Using these animations carries many benefits, including significant savings on training costs and a dramatic reduction for the need for live firing. This ensures a much safer environment, without compromising the efficiency of training delivered in the classroom or online. It also improves longevity of the courses for all employees and volunteers, because the courses can be accessed at any time, which is especially useful for refresher training.

For over four decades, WesCom Signal and Rescue has been working with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), supplying the charity with life-saving safety equipment to help save lives at sea. In recent years, the two organisations have been working together to help improve training for RNLI volunteers. The animations have been extensively trialled with the RNLI and accessed by all of the RNLI’s 6000+ volunteer crews as part of their initial and ongoing training.

Allen Stevens, Senior Engineer (Maritime Safety) for the RNLI says, “Developed with real world experience, WesCom’s innovative animations have become invaluable for our training programmes. Our crew training continues to improve with the use of these assets – largely due to their realism and detailed explanations. By working so closely with the brand, we have been able to provide live feedback and analysis, which has resulted in the development of these animations and them being subsequently integrated into our training programmes.”

Due to this positive feedback, WesCom Signal and Rescue has continued to seed these training animations and supplies to many of its distributors and partners around the world, including the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM), the Merchant Navy and Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering at Solent University.

Captain Pollard from the Marine Society and Sea Cadets commented on how useful the assets are in instructing cadets with regards to water safety within units, as well as onboard the training ships "Royalist", "John Jerwood" and "Jack Petchey".

Solent University was so impressed with the training resources, that the dummy flares and animated assets have been included into all of its basic and advanced maritime survival courses, its offshore basic and refresher courses and used on a daily basis. Feedback is excellent from delegates who appreciate the ability to have up to date audio visual material and the ability to actually get ‘hands on’ replica items. Plans are in place to incorporate the training animations into the class syllabus and used in presentations.

Whilst it is not possible to prepare for every eventuality on board, by offering in-depth and realistic training, they can train their staff to react in the most effective way possible.

By Jake Frith

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