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Unprecedented year-round access to arctic maritime routes has brought in extraordinary numbers of personnel and cargo shipments. Likewise, increased tourism and research in remote areas like Antarctica means more people are shipping dangerous goods in the polar regions than ever before.
The inhospitable conditions demand that sailors receive specialized survival and safety training. Also, niche HAZMAT training is beneficial when transporting hazardous materials in extreme environments. This online training course teaches sailors how to survive the elements and provides a specialized HAZMAT certification for ecologically sensitive polar regions.
What are the governing regulations? The Polar Code was developed to address issues specific to the remote areas and harsh climates of the two poles. These conditions make for vulnerable vessels, at a time when forecasts indicate that polar shipping is expected to increase. In order to best protect polar environments, ships, and their crews, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has refined regulations in respect to the unique risks undertaken by vessels traversing the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
The main regulation governing sea operations in and near the Arctic and Southern Oceans is the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code). Polar Code adherence is required under both the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This Polar Code certification meets the requirements of Polar Code Chapter 12.
Who must take this training? Polar Code training is required for all masters, chief mates, and deck officers in charge of a navigational watch on board ships operating in polar waters. These maritime professionals must understand the unique challenges of navigating the unforgiving waters near the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.
This course is intended for use by Chief and training personnel to educate ship crew.
Case Study: In August of 2018, the Anahita, an 11-meter sailboat, attempted to traverse the Northwest Passage. An official warning had gone out days before regarding the dangerous ice conditions in the area, and a clear path through the passage was not open. The men of the Anahita deliberately decided to ignore the warning issued and attempt the crossing as an adventure.
While sailing through the Bellot Strait, the ship became caught between two pieces of drift ice and was crushed, causing it to leak, then subsequently sink. The two Argentinians sailing the boat were able to activate an emergency beacon prior to having to abandon the ship and seek shelter on an ice floe. The men had the necessary water, food, warm clothing, and a life raft needed to survive.
The Canadian Coast Guard was able to rescue the men via helicopter.
Key Takeaway: It is always important to heed the warnings issued. By not doing so, these men put themselves at risk as well as search and rescue resources.
This Polar Code course provides an online certification that meets the proficiency and recurrency requirements under Chapter 12. Masters, chief mates, and officers in charge of the navigational watch should receive retraining at intervals not to exceed five years.