Fast rescue craft training around Stonehaven

Paul Boughton

The arrival this month, at Stonehaven Harbour, Scotland, of two new emergency Fast Rescue Craft (FRC), signals the imminent restart of a range of Maersk Training programmes at the newly opened Maritime Training Academy, which is owned by Maersk Training’s Aberdeen-based partners, Survival Craft Inspectorate (SCI).

The two companies have entered into a 10-year agreement, aimed at establishing the facility as a world-leader in the training of boatmen and coxswains in the use of FRC. The two craft will arrive on June 22nd. This is a significant investment by Maersk Training, coupled with the investment made in the recruitment of additional instructors for the facility. An Open Day to showcase the Academy and to learn more about the courses on offer will be held on August 27th.

Stuart Cameron, UK managing director for Maersk Training, a global training company involved in oil and gas, maritime and wind training, said: “Companies in the oil and gas sector can be assured the Academy offers first-rate training facilities and, more critically, that the challenging waters of the North Sea around the Stonehaven coastline - with its coves and inlets - provide the sternest test of any facility in the UK for fast rescue training. The industry has been aware for some time of our plans and there is a tremendous level of interest already generated. Indeed, we believe that in the first year a high number of delegates will be trained at the facility with demand increasing as new vessels come online by 2015 and grow from there on.”

Maersk Training, as a leading provider of OPITO related training ranging from survival to firefighting to boat training, will offer a wide range of courses from the Academy including Fast Rescue Craft Boatman, Fast Rescue Craft Coxswain, Daughter Craft Coxswain, Twin Fall Lifeboat Coxswain and technical training associated medical courses ITSO and AMA, alongside technical training. 

A rescue training centre and voluntary lifeboat had existed at Stonehaven for over 30 years being run by the charity the Maritime Rescue Institute (MRI). However, in December 2013 its fleet of boats and headquarters sustained extensive damage during the high winds, rain and floods which battered the town and it was forced to close.

With tremendous support from Stonehaven Harbour Board and Aberdeenshire Council, SCI has invested a substantial six figure sum in building the new facility and equipment, so as to train its own customers in its emergency marine evacuation systems. The Stonehaven site includes the main building, offices, classrooms and workshop on the harbour front and an additional building which will be used as a training room.

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