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AMC Search recently completed a sea safety assessment of the Tongan patrol boat, VOEA Neiafu, ahead of its journey back home from Cairns, where it was undergoing maintenance.
March 06, 2018
As a training provider for the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, AMC Search provides training for all aspects of running the patrol boats, from cook to captain, under contract from Australian Defence.
Most of the training is carried out at our base in Launceston, Tasmania, before the trainees head back to their home nations to begin work.
The assessment in Cairns is the ideal opportunity to see the trainees in action in the real world. During the training, AMC Search carries out exercises relating to firefighting, man overboard anchoring and towing, and launching and recovering seaboats.
On the final day, a master mariner carries out an audit of navigation publications, and checks the passage plan from Australia, bridge team management and bridge procedures.
Pacific Patrol Boat Program Instructor, Sam Potts, explains that efforts are focused on getting the boats home safely – but the team also seizes the opportunity to improve their training programmes.
‘First and foremost, we want to make sure the boats get home so they can get back to their routines.
"Their work has such an important impact, be it search and rescue, disaster relief, or fisheries patrolling. But the assessments are also a perfect opportunity to reconnect with the trainees, listen to their stories, find out how they’ve applied their training and take their feedback on board.
The assessments are also a perfect opportunity to reconnect with the trainees, listen to their stories, find out how they’ve applied their training and take their feedback on board.
"We use it as a review of our training and find that evaluations in the real world make such a difference to the quality of the training we can provide."
The Pacific Patrol Boat Program aims to assist Pacific Island partners in protecting their maritime resources and security interests, including taking an active role in securing their exclusive economic zones.
Its effect on communities is also significant, providing employment opportunities and postsecondary education in areas such as engineering and navigation.
Sam Potts explains how his team contributes to this by overcoming some of the challenges of delivering training to groups from different countries and cultures.
"Dealing with English as a second language and adapting to cultural differences is important for the success of our training. Every country is different and therefore we must consider these differences to provide the crew with a positive training experience.
"We constantly improve our procedures to suit the nation we’re working with to ensure they meet the required standard to get home safely. For us, that is critical to the success of the training we provide and to the ongoing success of the crews once they get home."
This article was originally published in Pacific Maritime Watch 72.
Find out more about AMC Search's Pacific Patrol Boat Program.