Maritime Academy Offers Lifeboat Training


Press release courtesy of Capt. Thomas Bliss, Director of Training at the Northwest Maritime Academy at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard 


 GIG HARBOR, WA Oct. 31, 2016 — The Northwest Maritime Academy (NWMA), offering courses to educate and empower mariners with invaluable safety knowledge and skills, is now launching a top tier Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boat (PSC/PSCRB) training curriculum and facility on the West Coast.

The Northwest Maritime Academy features a one-of-a-kind rescue and lifeboat training davit in the United States and is the only United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved training school to use up-to-date equipment abreast of the latest SOLAS changes affecting vessels, launching appliances. and hook release systems. NWMA also serves as the only training school that has re-hooked its lifeboat to fully meet updated standards.

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 multi-dimensional approach to marine training and certification.

Northwest Maritime Academy Offers Lifeboat Davit Training at Seattle’s Pier 91

Lifeboat training

Lifeboat training begins this month at the Northwest Maritime Academy’s training davit at Terminal 91 in Seattle. Academy Managing Member Ron Roark, right, looks over the davit earlier this fall.

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.

img_2138Endre Eidsvik, SVP of Norsafe, the 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 Centre 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. 


“We’re a fully certified Coast Guard Academy and our training facility is truly one-of-a-kind. We plan to continue offering best-in-class curriculums to benefit the maritime industry.” – Ron Roark, managing member of the Northwest Maritime Academy LLC


Capt. Patrick Boyle is the principal creator of the lifeboat davit structure available through the 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. 

Lifeboat training

Lifeboat training offered by the Northwest Maritime Academy will simulate the actual davit system for launching boats found on passenger ships.

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, and all of whom have an extensive history aboard ships.

Ron Roark, the managing member of the Northwest Maritime Academy LLC, adds, “We’re a fully certified Coast Guard Academy and our training facility is truly one-of-a-kind. We plan to continue offering best-in-class curriculums to benefit the maritime industry.”

The wide selection of courses NWMA offers are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and fulfill all domestic and STCW requirements. Main campus and headquarters are located at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard in downtown Gig Harbor, Wash. 

For more information, contact Capt. Thomas Bliss of Northwest Maritime Academy LLC at 253-358-2447, or: thomas@nwmaritime.us.

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