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RYA Course FAQs - RYA qualifications are respected globally. At Poole Harbour Sea Survival we maintain the highest standards.

Q: What equipment should I bring along, and is there any pre-course work to do?

A: This varies for each course, please read the detailed course information pages on this site.

Q: What time do the courses start?

A: Unless other arrangements have been made generally the each course will start at 0900 and finish around 1700 and 1730 for the sea survival. The half day VHF (SRC) conversion course starts at 1300.

Q: How long do the qualifications last for?

A1: The VHF DSC radio qualification currently has no expiry as per the sea survival course.  It is recommended to attend a sea survival course every 5 years to refresh and update you and your crew on new developments.  Those involved in yacht racing must have a percentage of the crew who have completed a sea survival course within 5 years of the start of a race.  Ideally all of crew should complete this great course.

A2: The first aid certificate is valid for 3 years.

Q: How much is each course and can I get discount?

A: Click on Fees for each course. Discount is available for club, group bookings dependent upon the numbers, and where the course is run. If the location and facilities have been arranged and paid for by the organiser the cost will certainly come down. Please call to discuss group costs and booking.

Q: I already have a VHF radio licence do I need to do the new VHF SRC course issued by the RYA?

A: To operate the new D class digital selective calling equipment yes. You can attend a half day conversion course to familiarize yourself with latest technology and procedures. On successful completion of this you are issued a new radio operator licence.  Most people find it beneficial to attend the whole day of the VHF SRC course, particularly if you completed the original course many years ago!

Q: How cold will the water be for the sea survival practical session?

A: The practical session is held in swimming pool and is therefore relatively warm compared to the sea. The maximum time spent in the pool is about 2 hours.

Q: I am a non swimmer (or a poor swimmer) and I am concerned about the swimming pool session?

A: No worries this is not a problem. You will be wearing an inflated lifejacket and have the support of the other students, plus the standard pool safety cover.  You will probably get the most out of the day getting confidence in your equipment and knowing it will work for you.

Q: Do I have to bring my own life jacket and wet weather gear?

A: Ideally yes, as experiencing the liferaft drills in your own clothing has proved to be a valuable part of the course. Many people have decided to add to their equipment after the experience and knowledge gained in the swimming pool. A few people have actually changed their equipment after experiencing problems!  Overalls and lifejackets are available from us should you need them.

Q: Do we get to let flares off on the sea survival course?

A1: Yes we try to organize this for every course, but it is dependent upon the location of the course and other safety factors, namely clearance from the CG and local authorities etc.

A2: The RNLI Water Safety teams can organize a flare talk and demonstration for clubs or groups of people around the UK. You can contact them on 0800 3280600.

Q: Where can I purchase RYA publications?

A. RYA publications are available direct from the RYA, chandlers and from PHSS. Click on Courses and Fees for your course materials and costs.

Q: How soon after the course do I receive my certificate?

A: On successful completion of the sea survival, ISAF and first aid course, on the day. The VHF (SRC) Radio certificates are sent direct to you from the RYA once the paperwork has been completed. An additional £22 is required by the RYA for the VHF SRC certificate.

Q: Are there any age limits for attending any of the courses?

A1: Persons under 16 yrs can attend the VHF (SRC) radio course. On successful completion of the course, the radio operator’s certificate will be issued by the RYA and post dated to their 16 birthday.

A2: Adults and juniors can attend the first aid courses.

A3: Adults and juniors can attend the Sea Survival course.  Juniors must be accompanied by an adult.  The youngest we have had on the course was a 7 year old boy who had a great time.

Q: I am interested in taking my RYA Yachtmaster Coastal /Yachtmaster exam what additional courses do I need to attempt in these?

A: For both courses you require your VHF (SRC) radio licence and a first aid certificate as laid down in the RYA logbooks G18.  For commercial use you will need a medical ML5 and sea survival certificate.  For further details click on the Practical Courses tab and scroll down.

Q: I require a commercial endorsement for my Yachtmaster certificate, what courses do I need to qualify?

A: For the commercial endorsement you will only need the sea survival course having already passed the VHF SRC and First Aid course to pass the Yachtmaster exam. A medical fitness certificate is required from your doctor.  Further information is available on the RYA website.


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