The course, entitled Humanitarian Response, from Marlins – part of V.Group – aims to give seafarers and shore staff an understanding of why migrants and refugees choose a sea route, along with suggesting how crews might plan and prepare for involvement in large scale rescue operations and providing guidelines for vessels.

It builds on practical experience from the private maritime security industry, owners and managers, and combines legal and humanitarian perspectives.

“We are seeing harrowing scenes in the media of the often deadly journeys taken by migrants and their traffickers through the Mediterranean and South China seas. The SOLAS Convention was never designed to accommodate large-scale rescue operations of migrants, so seafarers are facing an unpredictable challenge that they are not currently prepared form,” said Mike Pearsall, Product Manager for Marlins.

The e-learning course has been launched in partnership with UK-based charity Human Rights at Sea. David Hammond, Chief Executive Officer, said: “While the rescue of migrants and trafficked people at sea can seemingly represent an additional burden to an overstretched shipping industry, the legal and moral obligations cannot be ignored. The issue is no longer an exception, but may well become the norm as the migrant flows continue north through Africa, from the Middle East and elsewhere around the world.

“This new and important training provides crew and companies with up to date information to help prepare for an encounter with migrants and trafficked people in danger at sea. Human Rights at Sea was very pleased to have been included in its development as a partner to Marlins.”

Source: HRAS