A powerboat school and regional office of St John Ambulance have launched a pilot scheme to offer comprehensive on-water training and health and safety management.

A powerboat school and regional office of St John Ambulance have launched a pilot scheme to offer comprehensive on-water training and health and safety management.

The scheme has been structured around the UK Health & Safety Executive approved St John Ambulance Emergency Aid for Appointed Persons first aid course which offers relevant classroom teaching on legislation issues, communication, delegation and incident management as well as the expected medical considerations. Day two takes to the water with practical exercises, boat management, further related medical training and guidance in accident and report writing.

Its chief proponents are Bryan Norris of St John Ambulance’s Sussex office and Seafever Sea School’s principal, Peter White. Some courses have already been run in their locality, with in-water training mostly carried out at reservoirs using rigid inflatables although the pair are willing to convene courses further afield.

Both say that the course has been formulated to address the increasing responsibilities faced by people who take others afloat, especially but not exclusively in the commercial environment. White, a former policeman, has served as expert witness in several high profile court cases involving on-water accidents including the fatality at the Southampton Boat Show in 2001.

Although Peter White’s school is Royal Yachting Association recognised this particular course has no connection with the RYA. It is also limited to the Sussex branch of St John Ambulance although Norris says that it might roll out across the UK if proven successful and if further suitable partner powerboat schools can be identified.

Further information from Brian Norris on 44 (0)1903 231407 or Peter White on 44 (0)1342 316293.