Challenges in marine safety and training
As Namibia’s fishing industry continues to grow, it is often noted that there are still many challenges when it comes to marine safety and training. Speaking in an interview with the Economist this week, Tobias Nambala of the Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI) said that the institute still faces many challenges.
“Technology is fast developing, more and more techniques are required, and from the IMO’s point we are required to catch up with all the technological advancements. This boils down to more training tools required to ensure excellent and uncompromised service delivery as is the case with all other training institution across the world in the maritime industry. We have limited resources, the industry in which we operate needs to assist the government in as far as resources are concerned”. Nambala cited the lack of equipment as another challenge. ”We have a satellite campus in Lüderitz, and that industry too needs proper facilities. Therefore in our quest to provide the mandated services we really need the industry to assist where they can. In our training we use live equipment, such as life rafts, pyrotechniques, survival boats and containers for fire fighting drills. All that comes at a cost, now having to procure for the two centres (Walvis Bay and Lüderitz) means we should double the effort and facilities, hence the call for the industry to come on board”.
Despite the challenges, marine safety training is considered to have improved as no accidents involving sea vessels have been reported recently. Trainees receive Safety Certificates that are valid for five years, thereafter they must be renewed by attending an approved safety course by the administration, in this case at NAMFI. Measures are in place to ensure that vessels comply with the relevant safety standards as per national and international regulations.
“At NAMFI we view safety as a very important aspect of a seagoing career, therefore all efforts are in place to ensure that we do not waiver in our training delivery and in seeing that the training we offer exposes the trainee to a real life threatening environment during our practical drills. This is necessary to ensure that trainees can fight fire on board, provide medical supplies when required, can implement all personal survival techniques available to them when their lives are in danger and can remain safety conscious at all times” he concluded.