New boat crew trainees with Marine Rescue Port Macquarie dived head first into sea survival training

Nine new Marine Rescue Port Macquarie boat crew recruits were put their paces in sea survival training on March 10-11.

Learning how to survive in the ocean while help arrives, as well as being able to assist people in the water are crucial elements of being a member of the boat crew said unit commander Greg Davies.

“Over the weekend our newest recruits went through intensive sea survival training which included theory and practical elements,” Mr Davies said.

“Both mornings were spent on land before the trainees were put through their paces in and on the water during the afternoon.

“Sea survival training is basically learning techniques and strategies to stay alive in the water while waiting for help to arrive.”

Mr Davies said that part of the training involved being in the water for up to two hours as well as learning how to fight boat fires.

“We always train for the worst case scenarios,” he said.

“In the unlikely case that someone is thrown overboard all members of our boat crew must know the best things to do; including how to put on a life jacket, how to get into a life raft and how to avoid hypothermia.

“The other part of sea survival training is developing fire fighting skills, we work very closely with emergency services on land, but when a boat catches fire out at sea we need to be able to help.

“Our trainees also learnt about the different types of fires and how best to deal with them; and we know that these skills get used because last year we have two fishing boat fires and one fire on a yacht.”

Mr Davies said the nine trainees taking part in the sea survival training should graduate to boat crew members after six months of training.

“We have a really enthusiastic group of people who are very keen to get out and participate in the unit, not just in the boat crew, but right across the unit so we have a very exciting and busy few months ahead.

“This was their first hands on training, and from here they will continue their theoretical studies before beginning training on our boats in the coming months, before qualifying officially as members of the boat crew and becoming operational.”

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