Working in the UAE as a boat captain you will normally need two things:

1 – Boat Captain licence

This shows that you have been properly trained and have been assessed and shown competence in boat handling and safety procedures. You can properly look after passengers and crew. You will know how to do basic maintenance on the boat and engines.

You can plan a safe navigational passage and understand the dangers of shallow water etc.

You know the Collregs and understand the buoyage system


2  – STCW Basic Safety Training:

The Basic Safety Training Certificate is valid for 5 years and shows that you have attended training in the following:

  • firefighting
  • personal survival techniques
  • elementary first aid
  • personal safety and social responsibilities

The STCW Basic Safety Training course is a fundamental training program mandated for all seafarers by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Let’s dive into the details:

  1. Purpose and Importance:
    • The STCW Basic Safety Training ensures that seafarers possess essential safety knowledge and skills to operate safely at sea.
    • It equips them to handle emergencies, protect lives, and prevent accidents on board ships.
  2. Course Components:
    • The course typically covers the following modules:
      • Personal Survival Techniques (PST):
        • Teaches survival skills in emergencies, including abandoning ship and using life-saving equipment.
      • Fire Prevention and Firefighting (FPFF):
        • Covers fire prevention, firefighting techniques, and the use of firefighting equipment.
      • Elementary First Aid (EFA):
        • Provides basic first aid knowledge and skills for medical emergencies at sea.
      • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (PSSR):
        • Addresses personal safety, shipboard communication, and social responsibilities.
  3. Training Delivery:
    • The course is typically conducted at maritime training centers, approved by flag states or recognized organizations.
    • It combines theoretical classroom sessions with practical exercises, simulations, and drills.
  4. Certification:
    • Upon successful completion, seafarers receive an STCW Basic Safety Training certificate.
    • This certificate is a prerequisite for working on ships and is recognized globally.
  5. Refresher Training:
    • Seafarers must undergo refresher training periodically to maintain their certification.
    • This ensures that safety skills remain up-to-date.
  6. Applicability:
    • The STCW Basic Safety Training is mandatory for all working seafarers, regardless of their rank or duties.
    • It applies to various roles, including deck officers, engineers, stewards, and ratings.
  7. Impact on Maritime Safety:
    • By ensuring that seafarers are well-prepared for emergencies, the course contributes to safer voyages, accident prevention, and protection of the marine environment.

In summary, the STCW Basic Safety Training is the foundation for seafarers’ safety competence, emphasizing their critical role in maintaining safe and efficient maritime operations.


  1. What is STCW?
    • The STCW stands for the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.
    • It was adopted by the International Conference on Training and Certification of Seafarers on July 7, 1978.
    • The convention aims to promote safety at sea, protect life and property, and safeguard the marine environment by establishing standardized training requirements for seafarers worldwide.
  2. Key Objectives of STCW:
    • Safety: Ensuring that seafarers are adequately trained to handle emergencies and operate vessels safely.
    • Certification: Setting minimum standards for certification and competence.
    • Watchkeeping: Regulating watchkeeping duties to maintain vessel safety.
  3. Mandatory Training Areas under STCW:
    • Basic Safety Training: Covers firefighting, personal survival techniques, elementary first aid, and personal safety and social responsibilities.
    • Advanced Firefighting: For senior crew members responsible for firefighting operations.
    • Medical First Aid: Equips seafarers to provide medical assistance onboard.
    • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats: Training on lifeboats and rescue operations.
    • Security Awareness Training: Addresses security threats and measures.
  4. Flag States and STCW Compliance:
    • Flag States (the country where a ship is registered) enforce STCW compliance.
    • All seafarers working on ships flagged by any country must meet STCW requirements.
    • Flag States issue STCW certificates to seafarers who meet the standards.
  5. STCW Code:
    • The STCW Code complements the convention.
    • It contains both mandatory provisions (part A) and recommended guidance (part B).
    • Part A specifies the minimum standards required by parties to the convention.
    • Part B offers guidance for uniform implementation.
  6. Amendments and Evolution:
    • The STCW Convention has undergone several amendments since 1978.
    • Amendments address emerging challenges, technological advancements, and changing industry needs.
    • Topics include ship security, cargo handling, and specialized training.

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