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By SuperyachtNews

Virsec launches lithium-ion safety course

In the wake of increasing fire rates derived from batteries, the eLearning security training specialists have curated a safety programme for crew…

Virsec has created the Lithium-Ion Battery Safety Awareness for Superyachts course to cater for the rising demand for information and training on batteries in the superyacht industry. Curated in partnership with Seascope France, the maritime educational platform has developed an online programme to highlight the necessary safety standards and mitigate risks in relation to batteries on board.

The significance of lithium-ion battery safety awareness at present cannot be overstated and this extends to all crew, staff and shoreside managers involved with yachts equipped with battery-powered tenders, toys, and equipment.

In light of the rise in fires due to these batteries, insurance underwriters may reject claims related to fires involving lithium-ion batteries, particularly when improper charging, handling, or storage is suspected. The course addresses this concern by ensuring crew is well-trained in preventing and responding to battery-related emergencies.

The online course comprises eight lessons, offering an exploration of the electrochemistry and hazards associated with lithium-ion batteries.

Changes to code are already affecting the industry, as the introduction of the Li-ion Competent Person – MGN 681 by the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency has brought a new dimension to the responsibilities in battery charging operations. Drawing from the code, the programme aims to provide detailed knowledge necessary to conduct battery charging operations safely, identify hazardous or suspect batteries and understand the steps to mitigate risks until these batteries are removed from the yacht.

The course encompasses a range of learning outcomes, including identifying potential locations of lithium-ion batteries on yachts, understanding the electrochemical processes, recognising hazards and addressing challenges related to thermal runaway events and battery fires. It also introduces measures for responding to such events and the suitability of water-based fire suppression systems for lithium-ion fires.

In terms of compliance, the course aligns with several international standards. Virsec says it supports yacht managers in establishing procedures for personnel, ensuring proper familiarisation with their duties and fulfils ISM Code obligations by keeping personnel updated on safety protocols.

Upon completion, learners will receive a digital certificate from Virsec and Seascope France.

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