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

errv frc coxwain

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 Coxswain is one.

ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft (FRC) Coxswain Training program is designed to meet the initial emergency response training requirements for an ERRV Fast Rescue Craft Coxswain. Further vessel specific training is required.


The aim and objectives of the FRC Coxswain training program are to equip the delegate with the initial knowledge, understanding and skills required to perform the role of ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft Coxswain. Additional vessel specific training will be required.

  • Duration: Approx. 32 hours (4 days)
  • Validity: Continuous training and assessment required through Ongoing Onboard Development and Training Program for ERRV Masters and Crew (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 Initial Training Shipboard Operations certificate or reassessment to an equivalent standard through OODTP, a valid OPITO ERRV Crew Fast Rescue Craft Boatman certificate and who have three months sea service as an FRC Boatman.
  • Note: A current and valid Advanced Medical Aider may attend this course if they do not possess a valid ITSO certificate. However, ERRV Crew FRC Boatman Training Rescuing Casualties Using a Rescue Craft

frc coxwain progression
  OPITO FRC Coxwain Training and Competence Progression. Credits: OPITO

ERRV Crew FRC Coxwain Training




Rescuing Casualties Using a Rescue Craft

Introduction to Fast Rescue Craft Coxswain Responsibilities

  • The role and responsibilities of an FRC coxswain within ERRV operations
  • Hazards of Whole Body Shock and Vibration and the coxswain’s role in minimizing the risk of injury including the importance of correct seating positions
  • Craft maintenance and readiness
  • Basic Rules of the Road (International Rules for Prevention of Collisions at Sea IRPCS)

Preparing the FRC

  • Pre-launch and re-launch checks on the FRC
  • Use of emergency equipment
  • Establishing communications
  • Directing the crew
  • Confirming that the FRC is ready to launch

Launching, Releasing and Handling the FRC

  • Starting the engines
  • Directing the crew in all activities
  • Maintaining communications and the correct use of VHF radio
  • FRC handling techniques required for safe launching and release
  • FRC handling techniques when in displacement mode in open sea conditions
  • FRC handling techniques when in planning mode in open sea conditions
  • FRC handling techniques when in displacement mode in confined areas

Recovering Casualties

  • Recovering casualties to the FRC from situations such as TEMPSC, liferafts, helicopters, personal descending devices, escape systems and rope access systems
  • Accessing installations and the typical hazards that are present when working close to or underneath an installation.
  • The need for an installation specific risk assessment including those involved and the considerations to be made.
  • The types of personal locator beacons and emergency locator beacons that may be encountered in an emergency and how they are operated
  • The principles behind direction finding equipment found onboard the ERRV, FRC and DC and it’s use in locating casualties
  • Assessing the prevailing conditions (including the effects of tide/current in operations)
  • Directing the crew
  • Maintaining communications
  • Locating a casualty using basic SAR techniques to include search patterns
  • Approaching a casualty
  • Casualty assessment prior to rescue
  • Directing the crew for casualty recovery
  • Practical towing of another vessel (demonstrate using another a craft of similar size) to include information on different towing arrangements and safe towing techniques

Transferring Casualties to the ERRV

  • Maintaining communications
  • Transfer of casualties to the ERRV (the ERRV may be simulated)
  • Retrieval of the FRC to the ERRV (the ERRV may be simulated)

Leadership, Team Working and Facilitation

  • Facilitating and appraisal through the ongoing on-board development and training program (OODTP)
  • Leadership and team working techniques
  • Facilitating a short training session and providing appraisal at its conclusion
  • Working as team leader and ensuring the boatmen work as a team

Action in a Capsize

  • The common causes of FRC/DC capsize and the hazards encountered in the event of a capsize
  • Details of capsize specific equipment on the FRC including the self-righting system and the method of activation, the rescue line and quoit and typical engine cut out systems.
  • Actions to take as a coxswain in the event of capsize including initial action, exiting the FRC, use of rescue line and quoit, activating the righting system and re-boarding the FRC
  • Bracing for capsize
  • Initial action after capsize including actions to take as coxswain
  • Exiting the FRC and the importance of staying in contact with the FRC
  • Using the rescue line and quoit
  • Activating the self-righting system (The self-righting system may be simulated but must be used in at least one of the exercises)
  • Re-boarding the FRC 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