Northwest Maritime Academy to offer lifeboat training

The following is the text of a news release from Northwest Maritime Academy (NWMA):

(GIG HARBOR, Wash.) — Northwest Maritime Academy is launching a proficiency in survival craft and rescue boat (PSC/PSCRB) training curriculum and facility on the West Coast.

Paragraph 5 of SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea) regulation III/1 is proving to be the most significant and sweeping change in the history of lifeboats since the days of the Titanic. This regulation requires non-compliant lifeboat on-load release mechanisms to be replaced no later than the first scheduled dry-docking of the ship after July 1, 2014, and definitely not later than July 1, 2019. In line with this SOLAS requirement, mariners must also be compliant and demonstrate their proficiency relating to survival craft by Jan. 1, 2017.

PSC/PSCRB and fast rescue boat (FRB) training are conducted at Terminal 91 in Seattle with a geographic advantage for on-site training programs that implement a multidimensional approach to marine training and certification.

Endre Eidsvik, senior vice president of Norsafe, a global leader in lifeboat design, manufacture and training, has expressed concern about the recent spate of lifeboat drill accidents that have seriously injured or even led to fatalities among crew. A report in April 2016 by the Seafarers International Research Center discovered that tight vessel schedules did not allow for sufficient time for drills, causing crew to feel too frightened to act. NWMA modern lifeboats feature next-generation hooks launched into the water to provide as much realism as possible for each student. By empowering mariners with the proper training to better understand survival craft equipment and improve overall safety onboard, lives may be saved. 

Capt. Patrick Boyle is the principal creator of the lifeboat davit structure available through Northwest Maritime Academy. This training davit structure is capable of launch and recovery of four different types of survival craft: a modern motor enclosed lifeboat, a SOLAS rescue boat, an open lifeboat propelled by oars and a davit launched life raft. 

Great care was taken to ensure that this is the same type of davit mariners experience on a commercial ship. The survival craft training will be conducted by a number of highly competent NWMA instructors who meet the rigorous standards set by the U.S. Coast Guard, all of whom have an extensive history aboard ships.

The wide selection of courses NWMA offers are approved by the Coast Guard and fulfill all domestic and STCW requirements. Main campus and headquarters are located in Gig Harbor, Washington.

For more information, contact Capt. Thomas Bliss at (253) 358-2447 or

By Professional Mariner Staff