Following the article published on 23 November by Captain Schaefer of M/Y Kamalya on SuperyachtNews that concerned the need for superyacht specific Polar Code training, we speak to Schaefer about Viking Ice Consultancy’s first superyacht specific Polar Code course in Fort Lauderdale from 3-6 April.

“In order to get the approved IMO certificate, the course needs to cover everything on the syllabus as outlined by the IMO,” starts Schaefer. “However, if you are doing the course with commercial seafarers who may be, for example, working in tanker operations in the polar seas, then discussion points are likely to focus on how to deal with certain fluorocarbons with varying temperatures.”

Central to the courses ethos is filtering out extended conversations on non-superyacht specific topics, while appreciating that the full syllabus must be adhered to. For example, discussions may focus on how the hydraulics of the swimming platform and crane may be effected or, perhaps, how to deal with guests in the polar regions.

“These are obviously topics that are touched on in the commercial sector, man-over-board scenarios and such, but guests are entirely different from fellow professionals,” continues Schaefer. “We are going to focus on the requirements that are specific to yacht operation.”

The course, which was originally intended for the crew of Kamalya has been extended for others. The original idea was to fly crew members to Iceland or Sweden to take part in course, but, such a trip was deemed unfeasible with the vessel’s schedule, not to mention the unnecessary and counterproductive cross fertilisation of superyacht and commercial crew.

“We decided instead that it would be more cost efficient, time efficient and generally more efficient, to fly the instructors to Fort Lauderdale to fit our schedule, rather than flying a number of crew to Europe,” explains Schaefer. “The Viking Ice Consultancy instructors told us that they would fly over for a minimum of 10 students on the course, so I opened the course up to my colleagues.”

Schaefer explains that beyond the course syllabus, this course will be learning experience in so far as Viking Ice Consultancy learning about the needs of the superyachting community and, equally, the superyachting community discovering what they need from such a course. With polar exploration becoming increasingly popular, and the impending onset of the Polar Code, the need for specific superyacht Polar Code training is becoming increasingly pressing.

“They (Viking Ice Consultancy) have a huge amount of experience and it is very interesting for us to learn from them, and beneficial for the industry for them to learn about us,” finishes Shcaefer.

To find out more about the Polar Code and training click here.