Petrofac Training Services has warned UK seafarers to be prepared for upcoming changes to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), which are due to come into force on January 1, 2017.
Under the new rules, seafarers must have completed the training course or updating training within the previous five years, followed by refresher training every five years. The changes will impact anyone who works on vessels, as well as semisubs, FPSOs and drillships, according to Petrofac. They will also affect UK seafarers who hold basic STCW certification, or have six months or more sea service prior to August 1, 1998 and are deemed to be qualified in the proficiencies of advanced fire-fighting, fire prevention and fire-fighting, personal survival techniques, survival craft & rescue boats and fast rescue boats. Failure to comply with the changes could lead to vessels facing the possibility of being unable to set sail.
George Masson, marine team leader at Petrofac Training Services’ quayside facility in Aberdeen, commented in a company statement:
"The changes are being introduced to ensure seafarers maintain the necessary standards of competence to undertake practical emergency, occupational safety and survival functions such as launching life rafts or dealing with fires.
"The new requirements will apply to thousands of seafarers, so we are encouraging companies to be ahead of the game and to plan their training schedules accordingly. The worst case scenario is that workers may not be able to sail and carry out their duties but this can be avoided."
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