Participants in immersion suits navigate the life raft. SBMA/22091514
Cook Islands Seabed Minerals Authority’s (SBMA) held a sea survival training course this week to prepare their inspectors before sending them on exploration vessels as part of its monitoring and compliance programme.
SBMA ran two
courses, one on personal safety and social responsibilities and another on
personal survival techniques, which focused on sea survival once a person
course held on Tuesday included a demonstration of an emergency flare.
director John Parianos said
the training was a combination of theory and practical exercises.
“The practical exercises included
donning of life vests and survival suits, learning to jump into the water
safely – which is harder than it looks –, entering a life raft, helping
unconscious team members, etc.,” Parianos said.
“There was a lot of teamwork needed, and that is important
so that everyone knows in an emergency to work together.
“We also demonstrated how the life raft deploys and how
the emergency flares work.”
Parianos said SBMA set up the course and arranged the
instructor. He said the SBMA inspectors needed to do the training before going
out on exploration vessels as part of its monitoring and compliance programme.
The Authority extended the invitation to agencies and
companies in the seabed minerals space.
There were 21 participants, but, Parianos said more people
were interested so the course would run again next year.
“Safety is something that we feel everyone should promote
and collaborate on,” he said.
“While for some participants this was a refresher, for
others this was really their first time and despite some nerves, everyone did
really well and encouraged each other.”
One of the participants, Junior Tapoki from the National
Environment Service said he had done similar trainings in the past, however,
they were not as advanced as this week’s courses.
As part of the training, Tapoki said he learnt to deploy a
life raft, enter into a life raft with the correct technique and to wear
survival life suits.
He wore an immersion suit as part of the training, which
was a full-body red suit.
“The purpose of these
protective suits is to help reduce the loss of body heat when wearing it in
cold water in cases of emergency when abandoning the ship,” Tapoki said.
it is unlikely that we will need to use these in our tropical waters, learning
about these suits and how to wear them was a part of the course.”
Tapoki said getting into the suit was difficult at first
but got easier when he built up momentum.
He said they were not as hot as he thought they would be
and comfy to float in.
The courses run were from the
International Maritime Organisation’s International Convention on Standards of
Training, Certification and Watchkeeping.
“This is the standard required all over
the world including for regulatory groups in the Cook Islands,” Parianos
The certification lasts five years.
In February this year, Cook Islands Cabinet formally approved the three seabed minerals (SBM) exploration licence applications from CIC Limited, CIIC Seabed Resources Limited and Moana Minerals Limited, at least one of the companies have started their exploration expedition.