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ONDECK TRAINING GOES FULL SPEED AHEAD
Sunday 16th October 2011

Yachtmaster Offshore Preparation week and examination began for Richard, Kai and Matt run by 'Taff' Pearce. This is one of the higher level qualifications that Ondeck offers in Antigua and is a must for professional and advanced leisure sailors.

We also have Bjorn, a young Antiguan with lots of experience but no formal qualifications, doing his Competent Crew course and looking to follow a career in the industry (hopefully with Ondeck) and Panos looking to build some miles before doing his Day Skipper later in the month.

Kai has travelled up from Barbados, Matt from Jersey, Panos from Greece and Richard, who has been a solid piece of Antiguan architecture for many years, will shortly be off to work on Ocean Enterprise as part of a wave energy (Seatricity) project off the Orkney Islands in Scotland ... all in all a story of many diverse but beautiful islands.

The picture below shows the successful students along with Taff and Mike Critchley, the external examiner.

This week also saw the start of the Ondeck’s STCW Basic Safety Training Courses for the coming season. This five-day course covering Fire Safety, First Aid, Sea Survival and PSSR (personal safety and social responsibility) is rigorous, rewarding and absolutely essential for anyone looking at a career on commercial vessels worldwide. The course has the direct approval of the UK’s MCA.

This course had 10 students including a number of the ferry captains from Jumby Bay as well as students from Antigua, the UK and Hungary who are looking to further their careers in the international yachting industry as chefs, stewards/stewardesses and of course sailing crew.

The courses will be run regularly throughout the season along with refresher courses for individuals and whole yacht crew.

Peter Anthony, Chairman of the Ondeck Group, proudly explains:  “It’s been a great achievement for Ondeck and the many people that have assisted and enabled this facility to get off the ground in Antigua. Worthy of special mention are the Department of Marine Services, the Defence Force and by no means least, the Fire Department and its team.”

Ondeck's fire training facility in action.

And finally as part of Ondeck’s ongoing commitment to training and developing young Antiguans into the yachting industry a number of prospective mates and skippers recently started a structured training programme. They got a little more than they bargained for as the previous course had managed to jam the mainsail halyard just to provide some extra excitement for the new recruits.

Photos courtesy of Ondeck.


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