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MARSS00008 Shipboard Safety Skill Set

This intensive course is very popular. Participants include recreational boat owners and their friends, volunteer crew, sailing club members, competitive sailors, and is a compulsory OHS unit for GPH Deckhands, Coxswains, Engineers and Masters.

You will learn survival techniques, safe working procedures for emergency situations on board a vessel, survival techniques on a vessel in an emergency situation, as well as abiding by safe working procedures.

The course includes face-to-face teaching in the classroom as well as demonstrations on donning a life jacket, use of the EPIRB, safety equipment checks, crew drills, how to use a fire extinguisher and line handling basics, and the essentials in the grab bag.

Be prepared for the practical. This is an exciting experience with many challenges throughout the day, and our professional in-water and onboard trainers will assist the young and the old. During the in-water sea survival drills and tasks, the trainer will activate a real life raft and you will be involved in many exercises relating to abandon ship scenarios.

Student Course Information

Who is this Course for?

ESS is essential if you want a career in the maritime industry and it is a compulsory component of the maritime qualifications listed below.

  • MAR10220 - Certificate I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand Near Coastal)
  • MAR10418 - Certificate I in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 2 Near Coastal)
  • MAR20321 - Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal)
  • MAR20421 - Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 3 Near Coastal)
  • MAR30821 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Near Coastal)
  • MAR30921 - Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres Near Coastal)

Recreational boat owners, volunteer crews, sailing club members and competitive sailors should also consider this course for safety reasons.

Please note that parts of this course are strenuous, and students need to be physically fit for the survival life raft and fire-fighting drills as they require active participation.

Why choose us?

Our mission is to provide exceptional maritime training that creates real employment outcomes for our students.

  • We train on the water
    Our campuses are conveniently located close to waterways so you can walk out of the classroom and onto a vessel for practical, on-board training.
  • You can study full-time or part-time
    You have the choice to study your course all in one go or do it in blocks of time so it’s convenient for whenever you can get the time off work. Talk to us and we’ll make a plan that works for you.
  • Pay as you go with flexible payment plans
    You can pay your course fees in full or by instalments over the term of your course duration.
  • We have a Job Register
    When you graduate you’ll be automatically added to our Job Register and emailed when positions become vacant in the industry, providing you opportunities for part-time and full-time work.
  • Trainers are experienced seafarers
    Our professional maritime trainers and assessors are qualified and experienced seafarers aboard a variety of commercial vessels. Our students are guaranteed a high level of education that combines traditional classroom teaching with practical, on-board training.
  • Under new management since 2013
    Since taking over Sea School, we’ve had over 400 graduates successfully complete our courses. We are an AMSA compliant, quality-driven RTO that offers you the best training and career pathways.

Course Fees and Duration

  • $750
  • Course duration 3 days
    (some locations may offer 2 days duration - check timetable for confirmation)
  • The course runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm each day

For government funding and incentives, please refer to the New South Wales government funding page or the Queensland government funding page.

Fee Payment

A deposit of $500 is to be paid on enrolment to hold your place on the course. Course fees are due to be paid in full on course commencement. You will be invoiced upon enrolment.

You can pay by credit card, cash or by electronic funds transfer. Instalment payment plans are available upon application.

How to Apply

Please complete our online commercial course enrolment form. After receiving your enrolment, we will then email you a booking confirmation with a request to pay a deposit to ensure your place on the course.

Please review the Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skill requirements for our courses. We will issue you with a LLN test that must be completed prior to course commencement. This test will reveal if you require any extra support through your training and a training plan will be drawn up for you. Please feel free to contact us if you feel you may need extra support.

If you need to cancel your course due to an emergency or work, be assured your course enrolment can be transferred to another date, course or person within a 12 month period or, you can apply for a refund in extenuating circumstances.

What to Bring


Australian Drivers Licence, current passport or birth certificate, Unique Student Identifier (USI)

Sea Service:

Please bring your evidence of qualifying sea service. See the Record of Sea Service Form

RPL (if applying):

Academic transcripts of previous qualifications, CV, letters from employers

Electronic Device:

Electronic device capable of doing assessments online e.g. phone, tablet or laptop


Work or casual clothes for both theory and practical days


Deck shoes, joggers, sandshoes or work boots (no thongs)

Radio day:

1 x Passport photo for Marine Radio course

Fight Fire day:
  • No synthetic outer clothing, socks or underwear
  • Long sleeve 'cotton' work shirt
  • Long 'cotton' pants or jeans
  • Hair is to be tied back, if applicable
Sea Survival day:
  • In-water sea survival clothing to include a t-shirt or shirt plus pants
  • Spare set of clothes to wear after sea survival in water practical
  • Lunch, a bottle of water, large towel, warm jacket, and strong large plastic bag for wet clothes


To receive the Statement of Attainment for Elements of Shipboard Safety you must demonstrate competency in all units and meet all course requirements.

If you don’t achieve competency in some of the units, Sea School’s Competency Not Achieved Assessment Policy allows you to return to attend specified classes to re-sit training and/or assessments at no cost within a 12 month period. Should you not complete the whole course then you will receive a statement of attainment for the units you’ve completed.

Course Structure

The Elements of Shipboard Safety Skill Set is made up of 4 units of competency:

  • MARF027
    *Apply basic survival skills in the event of vessel abandonment
  • MARF028
    Follow procedures to minimise and fight fires on board a vessel
  • MARF029
    Meet work health and safety requirements
  • MARF030
    *Survive at sea using survival craft

All of our assessments are conducted through online software in class.

* Please note: for these units you will be required to undertake a few physical activities such as:

  • swimming in a group for a minimum of 50 metres
  • swimming in a lifejacket for a minimum of 50 metres
  • towing with a life jacket for a minimum of 25 metres
  • remaining afloat without a lifejacket for at least 5 minutes.
  • boarding a life raft unassisted while wearing a lifejacket and assisting others to board
  • jumping safely from a height into the water while wearing a lifejacket

Please contact us prior to your course if you feel you may be physically unable to complete these tasks and we will be able to discuss your options.

Course Content

Meet work, health and safety requirements

  • AMSA Code of Safe Working Practices
  • Observe and respond to safety and emergency operations
  • Identify and observe hazards, emergency alarms, and ways to control damage on board
  • Workplace practices aboard a commercial vessel

Fire Theory and Practical

  • Know the classes of fire and extinguishing agents to respond to a fire or other emergencies
  • Fixed fire suppression systems, SCBA self contained breathing apparatus
  • How to operate portable fire fighting equipment. Water, CO2, Dry chemical powder, Foam and Fire blanket
  • Fire practical (at nearby location or aboard a commercial vessel)
  • Programmed assessments

Shipboard safety theory

  • Communication methods
  • How to operate lifesaving and survival equipment; activating an EPIRB
  • Tasks aboard a life raft or boat
  • Safety signs
  • Abandon ship tasks and order
  • Safety equipment knowledge

Practical on board the training vessel

  • Stowage and induction
  • How to use a fire extinguisher
  • Safety equipment location and check and terminology
  • Keeping a sharp lookout, man overboard, first aid
  • Anchor or mooring tasks
  • Simulated abandon ship drill and muster
  • Life-saving equipment preparation and knots
  • Donning the jacket, jump from ship; in-water tasks and techniques
  • Righting and boarding the life raft and the necessary teamwork to survive
  • Paddling and bailing a life raft
  • Assist others aboard

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

  • Credit Transfers (CT) are granted if you have successfully completed a course that contains the same units as the Sea School course you've enrolled in. You may apply for a CT by providing evidence in the form of a transcript and if CT is granted, you may be exempted from some or all of the coursework.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is based on your work history, sea time and previous studies. You may apply for RPL if you can provide sufficient evidence with a minimum currency of 5 years. An assessor will make a judgement on the evidence provided and if RPL is granted, you may be exempted from some or all of the coursework. A competency conversation interview may be required as part of your portfolio of evidence.

Terms and Conditions

Signing your enrolment form acknowledges your understanding of your rights, obligations and acceptance of Sea School’s terms and conditions. Sea School course costs, timetable, course content, policies and procedures are subject to change without notice. You are required to read the detailed terms and conditions information on our website.

Make an Enquiry

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Please use the information on our contact page to phone or email us directly.

Just wanted to thank you and your staff at Sea School. I have over 20 years experience in the teaching profession and work closely with Macquarie Uni & UTS and I can certainly say that your methods of teaching coxswain ticket were spot on.

Craig Mitchell, Managing Director, Sydney Harbour Bookings

Nationally recognised training organisation
Australian Qualifications Framework