Despite the crucial importance of Port State Control to the wellbeing of the seafarer, vessel and the environment, it is often viewed as a necessary evil by many seafarers. Yet a knowledge of policies and procedures, and a properly prepared ship and crew, can ensure a satisfactory outcome for all parties.
To address this issue Videotel, the world’s largest multi-media producer of high quality maritime safety training software and US-based Maritime Training Services (MTS) who produce and distribute maritime training materials that address key safety, regulatory, and operational issues facing the industry, have combined their joint expertise to produce a new training programme on US Port State Control.
The concept for the creation of the new programme was inspired by personal experience. Matt Gasparich, Managing Director at Maritime Training Services says, “Recently our film crew rode from Vancouver to Seattle on board a container ship and personally experienced the US Port State process. We compared it with our original programme produced in 1996 and instantly knew this was the time to update it.”
At the same time in London, Videotel’s CEO, Nigel Cleave, was thinking along similar lines. “We were delighted to have the opportunity to combine expertise and resources with MTS,” he said. “This partnership enables us to offer a new and updated approach to US Port State Control that will benefit ship owners, ship managers and seafarers the world over.”
The joint team worked together to produce a programme which covers all the very latest US Port State Control procedures. In particular, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration and agricultural inspections were a primary focus and MTS was given the opportunity to follow CBP officers on a real agricultural inspection and immigration procedure.“ CBP was a fantastic partner for us in producing this new programme,” adds Matt Gasparich. “They are committed to educating seafarers about new policies and procedures and were very open with the way crews could prepare for the examinations.”
CBP’s Seattle Area Port Director Mark Wilkerson added, “We were happy to participate in the making of this training video and consider this effort an opportunity to get CBP’s compliance information and requirements distributed to the maritime community.”
The programme covers the US Coast Guard inspection process, following a team of inspectors through a typical boarding with Coast Guard commentary on the best way to prepare ships and crews for inspection. The programme is available on Videotel’s VOD system and for purchase world-wide from MTS.