An STCW Course Certificate is an essential requirement if you wish to work offshore, like on a superyacht. The course itself is fun and you will be able to learn a wide variety of safety measures. However, it can also be dangerous if you do not remember to be safe. Any kind of practical course has a varying degree of hazard attached to it, which is further amplified by a candidate’s phobias, failure to follow safety protocols during training, and so on. In this article, we will tell you some essential safety tips to successfully complete your STCW course.

What is an STCW Course?

An STCW course is a basic survival and safety course that every sea worker has to pass. In this course, you will learn the five following modules:

  • Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention (FF&FP)
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (PSSR)
  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD)
  • Elementary First-Aid Course (EFA)
  • Personal Survival Techniques – Sea Survival (PST)

Upon completion of each module, you will receive a certificate that is valid for up to five years. The duration of this course is up to 11 days, depending on the training institute. For detailed information on the STCW Course itself, please feel free to check out our other article ‘STCW Certificate in South Africa‘.

Safety Tips for taking the STCW Course

Regardless of safety measurements taken by institutions, the STCW course does possess a degree of harm and injury due to the nature of its curriculum. For example, if you do not follow safety protocols during your firefighting training, it’s possible that you may get burn injuries. Here are some tips to complete the STCW course safely and successfully, and most importantly, enjoy it!

Be truthful about your medical conditions.

Before STCW, it is important for you to understand whether you are up for this challenge physically. STCW Course has a lot of practicals that will require your strength, stamina, and endurance. You should not hide your medical conditions, especially the ones that may hamper your ability to successfully complete the course. You will undergo a maritime medical examination prior to the course and you should be truthful to them about your medical conditions, for your own safety.

Make sure your safety gear is in perfect condition.

During your course, your instructor will provide you with appropriate equipment and will also educate you regarding the appropriate usage of said equipment. You are to tell your instructor in case you detect any faults with your equipment. Faulty equipment can lead to serious injuries.

Your Instructor’s Instructions are Absolute.

Always listen carefully and follow your instructor’s orders and instructions. Failing to follow the instructions not only may bar you from taking the course but may also prove a threat to your safety. Of course, there’s also the risk of learning things in the wrong way which will hamper you from performing your duties responsibly in the future.

If you are unsure about anything, ASK.

This is a fairly common mistake a majority of us have made in our school lives. However, in an STCW curriculum, this mistake may prove expensive for your career. If you are unsure about anything during any time in the course, always ask. Remember, you have paid for the course and it is your right to ask and clarify your doubts.

Use common sense.

Last but not least, and this goes without saying but having a bit of common sense helps with the STCW course. Combined with confidence and patience, your common sense can help you learn things faster and keep you safe from harm as well. Also, as mentioned previously, being patient and confident is the key. If you are confident that your knowledge is correct, do not hesitate to apply it practically.


Bottom Line

If you follow these essential safety tips responsibly, the STCW course is a very fun experience that will prepare you for real challenges. Also, we strongly advise you to check on the institution’s credentials before you apply for a course with them. There are many scams around the internet and a bad institute will not teach you the STCW modules properly or may even outright scam you.

In South Africa, you can be assured with Sail and Power SA. We are a certified watersports institution with a highly experienced veteran staff in the industry and we provide authentic STCW experience to our candidates. Give us a call today for more information.

Be safe and enjoy your STCW Course. We wish you good luck in your marine career!