ANGUILLA COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONDUCTS SEAFARERS CERTIFICATION COURSE
The Anguilla Community College (ACC) is conducting the Standards of Training, Certification & Watch Keeping course for Seafarers in Anguilla, this week. Sixteen seamen are currently being trained by Mr Garth Steyn from the St Maarten Sailing School. He was approved by the UK Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA) to conduct the course in Anguilla, a British Overseas Territory. The MCA works to prevent the loss of life on the coast and at sea. It also produces legislation and guidance on maritime matters, and provides certification to seafarers.
Registrar, Secretary to the Board of Governors, ACC, Carla Harris, told the Anguillian seamen that some of the boat operators’ certification were becoming due and needed renewal. She went on: “And they wanted us to offer something on island primarily to get the training for them to ensure that the whole group could get certified. We are doing renewal training first, and then we will be doing actual training for new persons who want to get a new STCW. It’s a mandatory requirement for operating on the sea. Captains and other persons on the boat need to be certified because it’s about safety, security, and it’s a requirement.”
The training and certification is being conducted at two levels – first timers who would be required to complete the full training, and the refreshers course for persons whose initial certification must be updated.
Ms. Harris explained: “For the first session that takes place this week, we have 16 persons, and for the second session we have 13 persons. There are a significant number of other persons to be certified throughout the year – so it is something new for many persons to have it done here. Unfortunately, there’s always a bit of mistrust about things local but we are here to show that it can be done, and can be done well. We intend to continue offering the training because the College, more and more, is looking to technical training being relevant for the community, and this is a community need.”
On Thursday the participants were involved in fire training in St Maarten. It was conducted by the Dutch Fire Service.
The second session will take place on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th April with the practical Fire Fighting component on Friday 7th April in St Maarten.
The Anguilla Air and Sea Port Authority had several meetings to explain to seamen, boat owners and captains, the importance of ensuring their crews have up to date Standards of Training, Certification & Watch Keeping Certification – and to encourage compliance with local and international standards. Certification lasts for 5 years and must be renewed periodically.