The Management of the National Port Authority (NPA) has begun aweek-long marine training to equip seafarers of the entity withknowledge in mandatory courses as required by the International Maritime Organization (IOM).
The IOM, known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime ConsultativeOrganization until 1982, is a specialized agency of the United Nationscomprising of 172 member states responsible for maintaining acomprehensive regulatory framework to govern shipping activities.
The training, which is being conducted jointly by coordinators fromthe Regional Maritime University of Ghana and the Liberia Red Cross, is expected to enhance understanding of seafarers in IOM’s required courses of Fire Fighting and Survival at Sea Techniques.
The exercise, which was launched by NPA Managing Director DavidWilliams at a local resort in Thinkers Village outside Monrovia onMonday, will also enhance the understanding of seafarers in Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, Elementary First Aid and SecurityDuties and Awareness, among others.
IOM Mandatory Courses are programs of model training developed in 1978out of suggestions from a number of member governments followingthe adoption of the International Convention on Standards of Training,Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers.
Managing Director Williams said certificates which will be given the participants at theend of the training are the bare minimum required by the IOM forseafarers to man vessels worldwide.
Williams recalled that the NPA in 2008 conducted similar training forseafarers, adding, "The certificates lasted until 2013 before theyexpired.”
He noted that it is a matter of urgency for the NPA to conduct thetraining at this time as many of the participants will be responsiblefor manning vessels like the Two Thug, one Pilot boat and one Patrol boat obtained recently by the NPA under the auspices of the KuwaitiFund loan agreement.
"The next phase of this training will be short courses to upgrade thelicenses of our marine personnel, pilots, engineers, deckhands, amongothers’, he added and explained, “This phase will take months and will be done in segments since wecannot take all of the personnel to training at the same time."