Ocean Technologies Group (OTG) has received approval from Bahamas Maritime Authority to offer an e-learning course on standards of training, certification and watchkeeping (STCW) ice navigation.
Safe navigation through ice passages and avoiding their many hazards depends on the knowledge and skills of the senior bridge team. As new routes open, crew certified to navigate ice are in demand. However, the number of officers with the requisite experience to operate in these waters and those able to teach the new generation ice navigation skills is under pressure globally, further limiting supply.
E-learning may provide the answer, allowing seafarers to study remotely whilst obtaining certification to recognised standards. The Bahamas Maritime Authority has approved an innovative new course from OTG: “Ice Navigation in Polar Waters”, that combines e-learning, interactive scenarios, and in-person assessment to provide navigational officers with the requisite understanding of the hazards of manoeuvring in ice and transiting the polar regions.
Meeting the requirements of The Polar Code and the IMO STCW Convention and Code, this comprehensive STCW Course comprises nine modules and covers topics such as regulations, ice characteristics, voyage planning, vessel performance in polar waters, ice breaker operations, and crew preparation and safety.
The learning portion of the course can be carried out entirely online, with a final assessment being taken out under supervision at a Marlins Approved Test Centre. After completing all nine modules and the online simulator exercise, the learner takes an informal self-assessment: if they feel ready, they can apply for formal assessment and certification. This structure allows seafarers to study at their own pace, eliminating the need for extended travel and ensures a high-quality result.
“STCW Ice Navigation at Basic Level is a long course that would traditionally require 4 – 5 days’ attendance at an on-shore training centre. Adding travel time, officers may need to spend a week away from home, often during their vacation time. Access via our self-directed learning platform means seafarers can take regulatory training at a pace and location that suits them, fitting it in around their personal lives more easily,” said Catherine Logie, Ocean Technologies Group, director of direct to consumer services.
Our global network of Approved Test Centres in almost every crew region enables seafarers to take a supervised assessment locally,” she continued.