From the first day I was on board the ship until today I have been undergoing extensive safety training on board the ship, thankfully it has been far more exciting that the week and a half in Holland and the week and a half in Trinidad. I have been chosen to train in the prime group – 25 of the fittest men and women who speak fluent english – to train in lifeboats, firefighting, crowd management and general ship safety. This means I will be a signed on member of the ship’s crew in addition to simply working onboard.
On Monday I donned a sporty looking lifejacket over my long sleves and long pants and joined the other 25 people out on a platform on the port side of the ship (the opposite side to the dock). I approached the edge of the platform – which was around 3 or 4 metres above the water – and prepared to jump. With my heart in my mouth, I casually stepped off the platform and plunged into the water below. The lifejacket is of course quite boyant so I floated straight to the top and floated freely. We all climed into a lifeboat to see what it was like inside. It was hot, stuffy, smelly, wet and I felt awefuly seasick inside. I prayed and tried to keep my eyes on the horizon whenever I could see outside and I made it through, but I certainly wouldn’t want to be in there for long. After this we got out of the liferaft and they flipped it on it’s head, to simulate how it might appear if it were deployed in an emergency and two by two we climbed onto the bottom of it and practiced pulling it back over. Interestingly the raft lands right on top of you and you have to slide out from under it. I really enjoyed that.
Then on Thursday I got to go to a special training ground to learn how to use fire extinguishers (this was following a theory class on fires the previous day). The instructor lit large fires in special fire pits and had each of us try out different types of extinguishers on the fire, noting the different effect that CO2, Dry chemical, Water and Foam extinguishers had on an oil fire. It was quite exciting.
All this training has been fun but also quite tiring and it almost seemed like I’d never get to work in AV with all this training. Thankfully however, it’s over now and I started work today. This morning I did AV for a small event with 1 microphone but with powerpoints and dvds and cameras. I did quite well so I am starting to settle in.