Compulsory for employment on board merchant ships

Personal Survival Techniques

The Personal Survival Techniques course is compulsory for anyone wishing to take up employment at sea on board Merchant Ships. It also meets the compulsory requirements of the Fishing Industry.



  • Have an understanding of the types of emergencies which may occur, such as collisions, fire, foundering, man overboard etc.
  • Recognise types of life saving appliances normally carried on ships: boats, liferafts, lifebuoys, lifejackets.
  • State the actions which should be taken in the time available prior to abandonment to minimise the hazards and difficulties which face survivors in the event of a marine casualty.
  • State the value of training and drills; the need to adhere to the principles of survival and safe practices.
  • State the basic principles of survival.
  • Explain the practical significance of basic concepts of hypothermia in a survival situation.
  • Recognise the causes and effects of cold injuries in a survival environment.
  • State the important first aid actions in a survival environment.
  • State the actions to be taken to protect survivors in survival craft.
  • State the actions to aid location by rescue services.
  • Use a helicopter rescue strop and briefly explain¬†helicopter rescue techniques.
  • Have confidence in being rescued, through a simple understanding of the general arrangements for search and rescue world-wide and around the coasts of the United Kingdom.
  • Don a lifejacket and immersion suit correctly.
  • Demonstrate use of rocket parachute flares, hand flares, buoyant smoke signals, EPIRB, SART, emergency radio (VHF) and helicopter rescue strop.

Wet Drill

  • Launch liferaft
  • Safely jump from a height into the water
  • Right an inverted liferaft while wearing a lifejacket
  • Swim while wearing a lifejacket
  • Keep afloat without a lifejacket (done in shallow end of pool)
  • Board a liferaft from ship (dry and wet)
  • Bring aboard an injured person.

Competence will be evaluated on continuous assessment and on completion of this module of the course, learners will be issued with a certificate of competence. Learners are requested to bring along their ID or Passport and a black pen on day one of the course.

Additional Information

2 Day Course
Every Saturday & Sunday throughout the year
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