Survival Craft Inspectorate Australia (SCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IFAP to bring freefall lifeboat training to the shores of Western Australia with the installation of the first and only freefall lifeboat training facility in Australia.

In a joint statement the director of SCI Australia, Mr John Reynolds, and the managing director of IFAP, Mr Martin Ralph, agreed that “the provision of an SCI model SC59FF freefall lifeboat and davit launching system would compliment the existing OPITO approved offshore survival courses offered by IFAP”.

The closest freefall lifeboat training centre to Australia is currently located in Malaysia and market research has shown that there is strong demand for local freefall lifeboat training as this will reduce the time and cost associated with travelling to Malaysia.

Under the agreement, SCI will provide, install and commission the freefall lifeboat and davit launching system. SCI will also oversee the maintenance and certification of the freefall lifeboat system.

IFAP will house the facility as an extension to its existing award-winning Offshore and Maritime Training Centre, and will also develop and deliver a range of freefall lifeboat courses to meet industry needs with assistance from SCI.

IFAP currently provides OPITO approved BOSIET and TBOSIET training (including HUET) as well as a range of offshore lifeboat training courses using conventional lifeboats and davit systems. The incorporation of freefall lifeboat training will further assist offshore clients to fulfill their regulatory training requirements.

Site works are now in progress at IFAP’s Offshore and Maritime Training Centre. Excavation and laying of the footings has been completed and fabrication of the jetty and associated top side structure has commenced.

When completed, this facility will provide the offshore and maritime industries with greater access to industry-required training. The location of this new facility, adjacent to Fremantle Port with direct access into Rous Head Harbour, will also be welcome news to many of the 1,100 ships hosted annually by Fremantle Port and the additional 2,000 ships that pass through WA’s six regional ports. Many of these vessels have freefall lifeboats installed and will be able to take advantage of the freefall training course at IFAP.

Further details on lifeboats and training courses can be obtained by contacting Survival Craft Inspectorate.