Get answers to some of our most frequent questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Read some of the most common questions asked by our trainees


How can I book a place on a Red Ensign maritime training course?

All courses can be booked with a simple telephone call to the office.  You will be asked to pay a deposit of £200 (or the full course price if it’s less than this) to secure your place.  You can check out our cancellation policies here: Private Cancellation Policy | Commercial Cancellation Policy. Joining instructions and information will be sent to you by email.

General course information

What time do courses start and finish?

All courses start at 08.30 so that you can make yourself familiar with the classroom, make a cup of tea and settle in by 9am. There is always a morning coffee break for 15 minutes and a lunch break of around an hour, in the afternoon there’s a further break of 15 minutes.

Do you provide food on the course?

No, but we offer lunch on-board our ship, Sea Trident for £3. Let us know by 10:30 on the day. Also, the town is only a few minutes away with supermarkets and take-away outlets or we are happy for you to bring a packed lunch and make use of the galley facilities, where we also have an unlimited supply of tea, coffee, squash and biscuits!

What sort of course materials are provided?

Depending on the course, we provide course notes, industry leaflets, maritime notices, or a specific publication (for first aid, power boat and radio courses).

Is there anywhere I can access additional information when I am on-site?

We have a ‘crew room’ with internet access plus secure wi-fi access if you have your own laptop or phone. There is also a large collection of magazines, books, videos, CDs & DVDs available for anyone to use on site to help with further study.

Will I be tested on the courses?

At the end of most courses there is a short assessment.


Do you run RYA Courses?

Yes we do, look on the leisure section of our web site for the list of courses.

About our Instructors

Who instructs courses?

We have a variety of highly skilled instructors and we also call in specialists for some courses eg. Advanced Fire Fighting.


Can you help me with accommodation?

We offer accommodation on-board our ship, Sea Trident at very advantageous rates. Also, we can provide a list of local accommodation to suit all budgets from budget conscious ‘crew houses’ to full service hotels.

STCW registration

Why I have been asked for photo ID?

In order to help reduce incidents of certificate forgery we ask you to bring a Government issued form of ID with you such as your passport or photo driving licence.  As well as checking that you haven’t sent someone else to take the course for you (!), we will also use the passport or licence number together with other personal details to create your certificate.  Overseas students can supply a Government issued ID card or passport.

How long do the STCW certificates last?

From 1st January 2017, under the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code, seafarers will be required to provide a certificate to prove that they have attended training in certain STCW courses within the previous 5 years.  This ruling applies to

  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats
  • Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats
  • Advanced Fire Fighting
What happens if I lose my certificates?

They can be replaced however there is an administration fee for this of £15.00 per certificate. We advise that you always sign your certificates immediately and take copies – if you lose them please let us know straight away.

Are the MCA STCW certificates only recognised in the UK?

These qualifications are the recognised, mandatory maritime safety qualification for all British flagged vessels and are also recognised by most national maritime authorities around the world.

STCW courses

How many certificates do I get?

Five certificates – one for each module of the STCW Basic Training Week.

Sea survival courses

What do I need to bring to the sea survival course?

We ask you to bring along swimwear or a T shirt and shorts/jogging bottoms to wear, we will provide a thermal undersuit, a dry suit and shoes for the exercise. We have hot showers at the centre so you should bring your toiletries, towel so you can shower if you want to plus a plastic bag for your wet clothes!

What happens during the ‘in the water session’?

We use a liferaft inflated by a gas canister, this is then used for the practical exercises including righting an upturned raft and casualty lifting.  The sea survival ‘wet’ session can be physically demanding so we do ask you to disclose any physical difficulties you might have, especially back, neck, knee or shoulder problems. Similarly we would like to know if anyone suffers from conditions such as claustrophobia, asthma or diabetes so that our instructors are aware of any potential difficulties you might have.


What should I do, if anything, to prepare for this course?

We always suggest some pre-course study of the phonetic alphabet, working channels and procedural words.

What do I need to bring to this course?

Please bring a recent passport sized photo which is needed for your application form for the Radio Licence.

Do I need to licence the VHF set as well as having a personal licence?

You need to have both a personal licence as well as a licence for your radio set.

I already hold a VHF licence but I need to update with DSC

The DSC update course is a half day course to ensure you are familiar with the new DSC working of the radio. You will need to bring your VHF licence with you so that the number can be crossed-referenced with the RYA to issue the new licence, you will also need to supply a new photo.


Is real fire or fire simulation used?

During the practical exercises we use real fire and smoke both in and around the purpose built fire training unit.

What about protective clothing?

All protective clothing, helmets and boots will be provided by Red Ensign

Medical conditions?

As with the practical elements of any course you will be required to complete a medical form to highlight any potential problems.

What do I need to bring with me to the Fire Fighting Courses?

Bring a T shirt and lightweight trousers (not jeans) or shorts to wear under the fire uniform and we have hot showers at the centre so do bring your toiletries and a towel.