ERT Rescue Boat Crew Training


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Basic Safety Training


Minimum Recommended


A Rescue Boat Crew is a person able to assist a Rescue Boat Driver in Rescue Boat operations.

The following are the minimum competencies recommended by the International Life Saving Fede­ra­tion for an Rescue Boat Crew. ORD recognises that many of its Member Federations have standards, which ex­ceed these minimums, based on the circumstances presented in their own countries. ORD encourages the highest possible standards in lifesaving, and merely provides the following as recommended mini­mum competencies


Prior to undertaking this assessment, participants are to:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age at the date of the assessment
  • Hold a current Inland-Open Water Lifeguard Certificate.
  • Have no limiting disabilities
  • Produce a log of practical experience
  • Have satisfied the relevant local boating laws, regulations or licence requirements

Minimum Recommended Competencies

For successful recognition for the Rescue Boat Crew Certificate the candidate must be able to demonstrate competence in the following areas.

Learning Outcome 1: Shore based training. Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of the rescue boat and motor.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Communication
    Demonstrate knowledge of all hand, flag and whistle signals and flares and their uses.
  2. Boat
    Demonstrate knowledge of the boat, its construction, equipment and maintenance needs.
  3. Pre Operation Checks
    Demonstrate knowledge of the crew responsibilities in the pre operation checks and all safety aspects to be observed in the operation of the rescue boat.
  4. Knots
    Demonstrate the following knots:

    • Coil a rope
    • Bowline
    • Clove hitch
    • Sheet bend
  5. Safety
    Demonstrate a knowledge of the safety requirements when operating a rescue boat.
  6. Dry Land Demonstration
    Demonstrate dry land simulated crewing

Learning Outcome 2: Water based training. Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of the rescue boat in water conditions.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Launching, Manoeuvring and Recovery
    Demonstrate competence in all aspects of the crewman’s responsibilities in the launching, manoeuvring and recovery of the rescue boat.
  2. Rescue
    Demonstrate the crew role whilst performing the following rescues, during which the crew must demonstrate an ability to recover a patient, weighing approximately 70kg (11stone or 154 pound), into the boat from the water.

    • Conscious casualty
    • Unconscious casualty
    • Injured casualty
    • Two (2) conscious casualties
  3. Care of Casualty
    Demonstrate care of the casualty in the rescue boat.
  4. Casualty Carry
    Demonstrate the crew role in casualty transportation from the rescue boat to shore and safety.
  5. Emergency Procedures
    Demonstrate the ability to cope with the following emergency situations.

    • Driver (helmsman) overboard
    • Engine failure in operational conditions
    • Simulated puncture of pontoon (inflatable rubber boat)
    • Roll-over procedure for craft; simulated roll-over to be carried out without motor attached to boat
  6. Resuscitation
    Demonstrate effective Expired Air Resuscitation (EAR), or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), where the rescue boat design permits, inside the rescue boat while stationary.

Learning Outcome 3: Maintenance Considerations. Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of stowage and maintenance of the rescue boat.

Assessment Criteria

  1. Stowage (storage) of Equipment
    Demonstrate a knowledge of the responsibilities towards the cleaning and stowage (storage) of the rescue boat and associated equipment after use.
  2. Maintenance
    Demonstrate a knowledge of the responsibilities towards the routine maintenance of the rescue boat, and associated equipment.

Assessment Strategy

These Learning Outcomes are best assessed using the following common assessment methods:

  1. Observation
  2. Oral questioning
  3. Written examination (short answer or multiple choice)
  4. Simulated rescue scenario

Only accredited instructors or trainers holding a current and valid certificate in the specific environment of Offshore or Inshore operation are authorised to teach and examine the ORD Rescue Boat Crew Certificate.

Range of Variables

There are a number of variables that will affect the performance and the assessment of the Learning Outcomes associated with the ORD Rescue Boat Crew Certificate. ORD members applying for achievement of the minimum Standard should specify the use of such variables in their documentation.

Rescue Boat
Type of Rescue Boat, whether Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB), or other type of boat.
Water conditions in which the rescue craft are normally used such as Surf or Inland Waterways
Candidates may be required to wear their recognised uniform during the assessment.
Candidates will have experience and seeking service or currently employed as a lifesaver/lifeguard.
ORD member organisations will list and identify the use of theoretical resources available.

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