Still in school - this time - Personal Survival. The morning was spent in the classroom learning about how to prepare ready for an emergency in the boat, what to take with us in the event of an emergency (I couldnt see “lipstick” on the list!), use of flares etc etc.
We are being taken to a pool later to practice getting into a liferaft.
Again on this course, we were joined by others doing the course for a variety of reasons - anti-pirate security on boats on the coast of Somalia, a guy working out on windfarms and another working on the passenger ferries on Scilly Isles - he has promised to wave to us when we sail by next week!
One of the main messages of the day was only abandon your boat when absolutely necessary - so you “step up, not down” into the life raft. Its only when you practice using one that you fully understand this message.
Mike set up the liferaft
and first up was Chris who joined a group of exe-marines - they wore survival suits and Chris was given leisure wear and a lifejacket. She did really well in the water with these fit, testosterone filled guys!
One tried to compete with Mikes role as “Littlewoods Catalogue Man” but it was hard to cut it in a bright red suit!
They practiced swimming in their gear,
then took it in turns to get into the raft before they entered it as a group. We then became the weather - I was the rain - just to make it realistic!
I joined the next group and we only had one exe-marine in this one. Mike and I wore the survival suits, as we will gain a different certificate which covers people working commercially (keeping our options open at this point). They are one size only, and the crotch came down to my knees!
“Does My Bum Look Big In This”
I struggled to get into the raft - it had partially deflated due to the fact it had already been used by the other group, and the “wind” was particularly excessive, and my lovely red suit, complete with hugely oversized integral gloves, meant I couldnt get hold of the lines to help bring myself up. A little shove from Duncan did the trick. We then had to enter as a group - and I was the last one to get into the raft, and soon regretted my enthusiasm with the rain which I had managed to squirt into the raft with the previous group. The “Marine” got a little carried away, and having seen my poor effort getting into the raft previously took hold of me and yanked me straight into the raft, headfirst into the pool of water - for a couple of seconds I thought I was going to drown - in a liferaft!
The other group then performed “the weather” for us with just a touch of retaliation!
Yep - I can now understand that you would only want to get into a life raft as a last resort when your boat is either on fire or at its last stages of sinking!
South West Marine Training really do well with their education and then put on a display of lifeboat rescue for us…..
Only joking, we are lucky to be in Brixham during Torbay Lifeboat Week with a programme of activities. It started with a parachute display,
then a display showing different rescue situations with the RNLI - fabulous!
This evening I met up with Nicky White and we had some girlie time together. She treated me to a lovely meal and we spent the evening having a catch up - thanks Nicky!
Back to the boat at 10.30 to find everyone else back out the pub! Time for bed for me!