Personal Survival Technique or PST is part of Basic Safety Training. The STCW 95 Code, requires every aspiring seafarer to take the Basic Safety Training Course. BST is composed of 4 modules/courses indicated in STCW A-VI/1-1 to 1-4. Basic Safety Training is a 5 day course (depends on training centers) which includes theory/lectures, assessments and actual training. This course must be renewed every 5 years, or under certain conditions.
The main objectives of Personal Survival Technique, students must be able to know on how to survive and stay alive when life is threatened in a ship casualty. The student must also be able to wear his life jacket or an immersion suit correctly. (Immersion suit is use in cold climates, because it maintains the body temperature.)
Based on IMO Model Course 1.19
Survival - is the ability of a seafarer to stay alive when life is threatened in a shipping casualty. It is an action, ability or effort exerted by a person or group of persons in order to continue to live in the mids of disastrous situation. It is a struggle for existence.
- Have a strong will to survive.
- Have survival knowledge and techniques: (a) Proper use of life-saving appliances and equipment (b) Actions to be taken when abandoning a ship (c) Survival knowledge and techniques required when drifting (d) Cautions required by a person being pick-up
- Have excellent life-saving appliances which is always maintained in good condition.
Another objective of the training is to know on how to handle a life raft.
Here's what I learned on how to handle a life raft:
- First, tie the painter line on a strong point (or the rope that is connected to the raft).
- Unhook the pelican hook.
- Then remove the pin.
- Check for any obstruction below (the drop point).
- Pull the manual releasing lever. The life raft will now inflate automatically.
- If your already in the raft, cut down the painter line so that the life raft will not sink together with the ship.
Here's a video that I personally filmed where my co-trainees performs a method in which they will be seen by some passing planes in case of distress. I forgot the name of this method. (Sorry Sir, lol)
Now, they're performing the centipede method.
All of us performed those methods because it's mandatory. Actually, it's great to experience those because I won't hope to experience those on board. It will only mean that the ship is in distress. :D