The following is the text of a news release from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:
(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — More professional mariners than ever are coming to SUNY Maritime College for training and courses to maintain their credentials and endorsements.
The increased enrollment is being seen across the industry as the Dec. 31 deadline approaches to comply with the U.S. Coast Guard’s updated Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).
“The updated international standards will help to keep merchant mariners and the vessels and cargo they are responsible for safe,” said Capt. Ernie Fink, dean of SUNY Maritime’s professional education and training department. “The standards have also meant a great deal of work for mariners; we have added several courses this year to meet the increased demand.”
By the end of June last year, 405 mariners took 51 courses. This year, more than 570 people took 72 courses, including four that were added to meet the new STCW requirements.
The department offers approximately 30 stand-alone Coast Guard-approved courses, including the additional courses in leadership in management and teamwork, engine room resource management and basic training.
The standards, met largely by training courses, ensure mariners have the skills and knowledge necessary to operate safely on national and international waters. Upon completion of a course, professionals report to the U.S. Coast Guard, which endorses them for the skills learned on their merchant mariner credential. The credential is necessary to operate a vessel in the United States.
An update to the code, adopted in 2010, added several training requirements in things like management and team working, and created additional renewal and skills refresher courses. Additionally, mariners are expected to revalidate several types of training every five years.