Training day …..

….. or training days.

To enable us just to go to sea on a research vessel we have to have a number of certificates that we have to update regularly.

The time has comes for several of the team to update one of their certificates.

It seems we can’t even board a UK flagged vessel without having a Personal Sea Survival Techniques certificate – or PST – which has to be renewed every 5 years.

That is probably a good thing as this is the course that teaches you how to use a lifejacket and don a survival suit, which fire extinguisher to use, how to get into a lifeboat, and perhaps more importantly how to deploy one as a ship is sinking. It even involves practical practise in a swimming pool.

But perhaps the most important lesson it teaches is – a ship is your best route to survival – so never leave it until it is actually sinking beneath you.

We also have to be medically fit – so also need to pass every two years an ENG1 medical – eyes, ears and movement! We are all still alive apparently.

The certificate the team have been renewing is their BOSEIT – this is the one required to work in the offshore industry, since it contains the helicopter crash in water survival training, and even involves being dunked in a helicopter body into a swimming pool, immersed, flipped upside down and then having to escape whilst underwater, training. Not for the faint hearted.

But we also have a range of other certificates in our armoury including:

manual handling – our equipment is rather heavy when fully assembled so we need to know how to correctly lift and manoeuvre heavy things so that we don’t hurt ourselves or others;

lifting and stropping – no this one isn’t about dealing with cross people – this one is about safely lifting things using a crane – a strop is a fabric sling!

first aid – we have full occupational first aid training – just in case something happens to us or anyone else in our immediate surrounds. The Boss is rather good at this one and is champing at the bit to practise her stitching. We are trying not to do anything that requires stitching;

fire fighting – always handy – a fire on a ship is a really bad thing and so is a lithium battery explosion no matter where that happens – so having awareness of what to do so that you can not only do the right thing, picking the right extinguisher but most importantly acting quickly, is essential; and

hazardous shipping – you wouldn’t believe the size of the manual that goes with this one. It lists all the things that could be shipped and tells you how they must be packaged, what volumes each package can contain, how it has to be labelled, what the box has to be made of and how it must be constructed, and if it has to have a dangerous good notice associated with it.

So we don’t just have to be good at instrumentation use, and instrumentation design, development and build – we have to be good at a whole ball park of other things ……..

so ……………..

But being slightly crazy does help.

Say no more!

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