Computer-based training (CBT) specialist Seagull A/S has added two more modules to the extensive portfolio of courses it offers to the shipping industry. Both have a strong environmental protection dimension.
The Marine Environmental Awareness CBT unit is a basic training program, designed for seafarers in management, operational and support level roles. Seagull director of training content, Captain Bjarke Jakobsen, says, “This is an important addition to our range of courses as it addresses one of the specific requirements of the Manila 2010 amendments to the STCW code. These amendments enter into force in January 2012, and so shipowners will shortly have to comply with them.”
The aim of the training program is to motivate seafarers at all levels to contribute to the prevention of marine pollution by stimulating a greater sense of involvement and responsibility in this area. The main learning objectives are that, after completing this training program, the seafarer will be able to demonstrate the basic knowledge required to prevent pollution in the marine environment and understand the importance of doing so. The course explains the complexity and diversity of the marine environment, the impact of shipping on the environment, the effects of operational or accidental pollution and basic environmental protection procedures.
Captain Jakobsen adds, “This module has been tailored to meet the needs of seafarers at different levels onboard ship. All seafarers have to go through this training as a result of the Manila amendments to STCW and this module is designed to address the training needs of shipping companies in an engaging way.”
This new CBT unit has been developed by Seagull in close cooperation with the Prosea Foundation of The Netherlands. Prosea, a non-profit organisation, has been providing marine awareness courses since 1999 and is the author of the IMO model course in Marine Environmental Awareness in accordance with the STCW 2010 Manila amendments.
This is the first time that Prosea has been involved in developing a CBT course. Prosea vice president, Erik Bogaard, says, “Working with Seagull I believe we have developed a very good introductory course that makes seafarers think more about what their personal actions can mean for the marine environment. If seafarers understand why what they do is important, and have the right information about the impact of their actions, they are more likely to take responsibility for them.”
In a separate development, Seagull has unveiled a new CBT module providing an introduction to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2008 Vessel General Permit (VGP). The VGP regulates discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels in US territorial waters. Seagull’s new CBT module is targeted at senior officers onboard and designed to give them an understanding of what the VGP aims to achieve, and explains its structure of the VGP and the requirements it places on shipping companies. It sets out which onboard operations may have to be reorganised to comply with the VGP.
The course includes sections on when VGP coverage starts and ends, the discharges that are covered, and monitoring, inspection, recording and reporting requirements. It complies both with the US EPA’s VGP and the IMO’s ISM Code regulations and takes around one hour to complete. It also makes reference to the implications of the VGP for shore-based management.