Sunday, November 16, 2008

STCW '95 Training

Tomorrow at 8:45 a.m. I begin a five day-long, eight-hour-a-day training class at Maritime Professional Training here in Fort Lauderdale. This $800 class is called Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping, or STCW '95 for short. This intensive training will teach me not to lose my shit if the boat on which I'll be crewing catches on fire or capsizes. How far from the hallowed halls of Harvard can you get?

This certification course is mandated by the Coast Guard if you crew on a vessel that's bigger than a six-pack, which in dive boat speak refers to one that holds six passengers. The STCW training encompasses Basic Firefighting, Personal Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, and Elementary First Aid.

I'm looking foward to the Personal Survival part when we have to don survival suits and plunge from a thirty-foot-high platform into the water and then haul our waterlogged asses into the life raft. Awesomeness. The firefighting part seems a bit scary, as fighting fires is hardly my strong talent. I hope I don't end up looking like Beavis, that's all.


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