What is STCW?
On July 7, 1995 a meeting was held at the International Maritime Organization in London, England and the attending parties adopted a package of amendments to the standards of training, certification, and watchkeeping for seafarers. The convention set qualifications for masters, officers, and watchkeeping persons on seagoing vessels. The 1995 Convention amendments require that persons going for licenses and merchant mariners documents show competence through exams and practical demonstration of skills.
In general, Masters operating beyond the Boundary Line must have the STCW. This is approximately 12 nautical miles out in the Gulf of Mexico from FL to TX, and beyond the beach line on the Atlantic Ocean. The boundary line is described in 46 CFR part 7, and that should be used in conjunction with the proper nautical chart to determine the exact location of the Boundary Line for each specific location.
Before being assigned to shipboard duties, all persons employed or engaged on a seagoing ship other than passengers, shall receive approved familiarization training in personal survival techniques or receive sufficient information and instruction......to be able to:
- Communicate with other persons on board on elementary safety matters and understand safety information symbols, signs, and alarm signals;
- Know what to do if a person falls overboard, fire or smoke is detected, or the fire or abandon ship alarm is sounded;
- Identify muster and embarkation stations and emergency escape routes;
- Locate and don lifejackets;
- Raise the alarm and have basic knowledge of the use of portables fire extinguishers;
- Take immediate action upon encountering an accident or other medical emergency before seeking further medical assistance on board; and
- Close and open the fire, weather-tight, and watertight doors fitted in the particular ship other than those for hull openings.
Seafarers employed or engaged in any capacity on board ship in the business of that ship as part of the ship's complement with designated safety and pollution-prevention duties in the operation of the ship shall, before being assigned to any shipboard duties;
- Receive approved basic safety training or instruction in:
- 1.1. personal survival techniques as set in Table A-VI/1-1,
- 1.2. fire prevention and fire fighting as set in Table A-VI/1-2.
- 1.3. elementary first aid as set in Table A-VI/1-3, and
- 1.4. personal safety and social responsibilities as set in Table A-VI/1-4.
- Be required to provide evidence of having achieved the required standard of competence to undertake the tasks, duties, and responsibilities listed in column 1 of Tables A-Vi/1-1, A-VI/1-2, A-VI/1-3, and A-VI/1-4 within the previous five years through:
- 2.1 demonstration of competence, in accordance with the methods and the criteria for evaluating competence tabulated in columns 3 and 4 of those tables; and
- 2.2 examination or continuous assessment as part of an approved training program in the subjects listed in column 2 of those tables.
The above information tells you specifically "what" the mariner must do! The following explains "who" must do it!
Who Must have STCW Training?
According to 46 CFR s15.1105(c), published as an interim final rule in the June 26, 1997 Federal Register: On vessels over 200 gross tons sailing beyond the boundary line, "after January 31, 1997, on board a seagoing vessel, no person may assign a shipboard duty or responsibility to any person who is serving in a position that must be filled as part of the required crew compliment or who is assigned a responsibility on the muster list, with designated safety and pollution-prevention duties. And, no person may perform any such duty or responsibility, unless the person performing it can produce evidence of having:
- Received appropriate approved basic safety training or instruction as set out in the standards of competence under STCW Regulation VVI, with respect to personal survival techniques, fire prevention and fire-fighting, elementary first aid, and personal safety and social responsibilities; and
- Achieved, or if training has been completed, maintained competence within the last 5 years, in accordance with STCW regulation VVI.
Words to the wise!
Owners of ALL size vessels, sailing beyond the shore line, from large commercially owned to small personally owned - are realizing everyone can benefit from part or all of this training! For a small price, it may save your life (or family) and/or your vessel. Adams Marine Seminars is one of a few Coast Guard Approved Schools in the U.S. that offers this lifesaving training. Benefits include:
Peace of Mind;
Lower Insurance Rates;
Better Trained Corporate Boat Captains;
& so much more!
Call or write today for more details or to discuss your specific needs.