GALVESTON, TX — When you’re more than 200 miles offshore and a crew member goes missing, whether from a vessel or offshore platform, your search and rescue options are quite limited.
A Fast Rescue Boat course, such as the one offered by TEEX’s Center for Marine Training and Safety, is critical. It provides offshore personnel and deepwater mariners the training necessary to conduct effective, on-site search and rescue operations in remote locales where land-based, search and rescue support is not readily available.
Recently, the Center had the distinction of being the first school in the nation to receive U.S. Coast Guard approval for its Fast Rescue Boat course under new requirements of the Seafarer’s Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) code.
Fast Rescue Boat training classes, offered at the Center’s Galveston Island location and conducted on adjacent Offatts Bayou, have caught on with the offshore oil and gas industry. Class enrollments have grown geometrically over the past few months.
R&B Falcon and Shell Deepwater Drilling are just two of the many offshore companies who have seen the value of Fast Rescue Boat training.
The course is designed to train personnel in safe and effective search and rescue operations from rigs, fixed platforms or large oceangoing vessels using small, stable and quickly deployable boats known generically as rigid-hulled inflatable boats, or RHIBs.
Fast Rescue Boat training is rigorous and encompasses a wide array of topics: RHIB launch and recovery methods, open water search and rescue techniques, search protocols and procedures, as well as rescue control center communications and rescue swimming. Perhaps, though, the most important aspect of the training is the intangible melding of individuals into a concerted working team. Students acquire a newfound confidence and appreciation of the value of teamwork upon completion of the training.