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OPITO Initial Emergency Response Training Requirements for ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) Boatman Training

frc boatman

Emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) play a significant role in responding to emergencies offshore with their attendant fast rescue crafts and daughter crafts. OPITO has a suite of ERRV standards of which the ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft Boatman is one.

ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft Boatman Training program is designed to meet the initial emergency response training requirements for an ERRV FRC boatman. Further vessel specific training is required. The aim and objectives of the FRC Boatman Program are to equip the delegate with the initial knowledge, understanding and skills required to perform the role of ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft Boatman. Additional vessel specific training will be required.


This is only part of a broader training/assessment program as OPITO approved FRC Boatmen are continuously trained and assessed based on the OPITO approved Ongoing Onboard Development and Training Program for ERRV Masters and Crew.

  • Duration: Approx. 16 hours (2 days)
  • Validity: Continuous training and assessment required through Ongoing Onboard Development and Training Program for ERRV Masters and Crew Standard (OODTP). A formal assessment is made through the OODTP program at least every 3 years.
  • Pre-requisites: Attendance on this training course is open to delegates who have a valid OPITO approved ERRV Crew Initial Training Shipboard Operations (ITSO) certificate or reassessment to an equivalent standard through the Ongoing On-board Development and Training Program OODTP.
  • Note: A current and valid Advanced Medical Aider may attend this course if they do not possess a valid ITSO certificate. However, in this instance they have to have a current ERRV OODTP for Masters and Crew.

frc boatman progression
  OPITO FRC Boatman Training and Competence Progression. Credits: OPITO

ERRV Crew FRC Boatman Training




Rescuing Casualties Using a Rescue Craft

Introduction to Rescue Craft

  • The types of FRC and DC currently in use in the ERRV industry
  • The types of casualty recovery and handling equipment on an FRC and DC
  • FRC and DC propulsion systems to include a comparison of jet versus outboard propulsion
  • ERRV davits and launch arrangements
  • Typical FRC and DC crewing arrangements
  • Construction materials used in FRCs and DCs and the importance of checking the hull for damage
  • The capsize self-righting system on an FRC and DC
  • Basic radio procedures and hand signals for on-board communications
  • Causes, effects and mitigation of whole-body vibration
  • Basic seamanship and housekeeping

Preparing the Rescue Craft

  • Releasing the securing arrangements for the RC
  • Pre-launch checks for the RC
  • Correct use of VHF Radios and establishing communications

Launching the RC

  • Hazards when launching and recovering the RC
  • Responding to directions from the coxswain
  • Safe crew positions for launch
  • Releasing the RC from the lowering system and bow line
  • Safe seating arrangements for passage

Rescuing Casualties

  • Responding to directions from the coxswain
  • Casualty location
  • Casualty recovery devices
  • Assessing and prioritizing the casualties prior to rescue.
  • Recovering and positioning the casualties in the RC to include the use of the vertical method and horizontal recovery system
  • Personal Locator Beacons and Emergency Locator Beacons to include types, identification, location and deactivation (This may be done in the classroom using appropriate dummy beacons)

Transferring casualties to the ERRV

  • Responding to directions from the coxswain
  • Transferring the casualties to the ERRV (the ERRV can be simulated) including the use of casualty handling devices
  • Retrieving the RC on to the ERRV (the ERRV can be simulated)

Action in a Capsize

  • The common causes of RC capsize and the hazards encountered in the event of a capsize
  • Details of capsize specific equipment on the RC including the self-righting system and the method of activation and the rescue line and quoit
  • Actions to take in the event of the coxswain being incapacitated.
  • Actions to take in the event of capsize including initial action, exiting the Rescue Craft, use of rescue line and quoit, activating the righting system and re-boarding the RC
  • Bracing for capsize
  • Initial action after capsize including head count
  • Exiting the RC and the importance of staying in contact with the RC (A video must be used to demonstrate the principles of exiting a capsized RC)
  • Using the rescue line and quoit
  • Activating the self-righting system
  • Re-boarding the RC and the necessary checks

Disclaimer: For general information purpose only - please check with OPITO for the latest and accurate information on Training Standards

Last Updated: March 22, 2021