Coast Guard Boat on Port River

Seamanship Certificate from the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard

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The Australian Volunteer Coast Guard plays a vital role for safety at sea and provides rescues from sinking vessels, vessels that have gone aground, towing for vessels with flat batteries and mechanical issues, to more serious emergencies such as search and rescue for those lost or missing at sea.

Why choose this course?

To promote safety on our waters, the Coast Guard run public instruction courses to educate about good seamanship knowledge that could potentially save lives. This course goes well above and beyond the SA Recreational Boat licensing test which barely covers the minimum knowledge required to go out to sea.

And you don’t need to be a member to jump on this course! They are run all over Australia so if you looking for a different location, check out their list of flotillas on their website.

Topics covered

The course covers:

Safety equipment
Fire prevention
Lights and Shapes
Buoys and beacons
Ropes and vessel lines
Knots (including practical session)
Propeller theory
Vessel handling and manoeuvring
Basic Coastal Navigation and GPS
Weather and Metrology
Maintenance and vessel electrics
Towing and regulations
Marine radio
Distress calls

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You’ll learn how to do it better than this!

How the course is run

Taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors, this course allows for more confidence when going out on the water, especially for the first time. There are so many situations that could happen out at sea, and you want to be prepared enough so you know how, not only to avoid an emergency but also how to deal with it should the need arise.

Courses are run at the North Haven Coast Guard Headquarters (Southern Myth Drive, just by the North Haven Public Boat Ramp) on Tuesday evenings from 7pm until 9.30pm for 8 consecutive weeks. On completion and pass of the course, you will be issued with a Basic Seamanship certificate which can be presented at a Service SA office, along with fee to gain your SA Recreational Boating licence.

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The cost of the course is $150 and covers the instruction, comprehensive binder with notes (basics seamanship book), other handouts, examination and tea/coffee during the evenings. This is a small amount to pay for the amount of knowledge to be gained which allows for more enjoyable and pleasurable experiences out on the water, but more importantly, knowledge which could save yours, your family and friends, along with others, lives.

You only need to pay once for the course (repeat courses are just $10 for materials) if you need to go through again, and you can do this as many times as you like.

The SA Recreational Boating Safety Handbook is available online which is useful to read through to get a basic understanding before the course starts.

Courses are free to members of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and by becoming a member, you could learn even more about becoming competent in operational boat handling, gaining experience and skills to give you even more confidence out at sea. Find out more on the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard website about learning whilst giving something back to the local community, who may urgently need your assistance one day.

Find details on how to contact for more information at their North Haven Coast Guard website.

If North Haven isn’t the right location for you in South Australia, check out the SA Sea Squadron Seamanship course which is held in West Beach and covers similar content, ran by the squadron volunteers.

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