Cork institutions lead way in ocean survival training

Ireland’s position as a world leader in maritime survival training is to be further cemented by a partnership of two Cork institutions which will design, build and run an offshore training centre in the Canary Islands.

The National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) and supplier of offshore simulation equipment, SEFtec, have joined forces to deliver the first such offshore centre for survival training in Las Palmas.

The centre will provide training for people working on oil rigs, once operational in September — with SEFtec effectively building it from its Carrigaline base and NMCI providing the know-how to run it.

Having Irish expertise sought in the delivery of such centres is an endorsement of our leading position in the delivery of training and consultancy in the area, according to the head of the NMCI, Conor Mowlds.

“Coming to us [Ireland] for expertise is a departure for them certainly because they’re a bigger economy than us but we’re really well advanced in this. The NMCI would be a top facility of its type; SEFtec would be the world leader and it’s a really good example of Irish public sector and private sector infrastructure and expertise and consultancy coming together.

“It’s a huge endorsement of Irish expertise, in particular for Cork. In the oil and gas industry anywhere in the world you’ll come across British, American or Norwegian expertise but this — the training and consultancy — is something where Ireland is actually leading and we are recognised world leaders,” Mr Mowlds said.

The €3m centre will see thousands of graduates pass through its doors as the importance of Las Palmas port, which serves the west of Africa, continues to grow.

It is also part of NMCI’s plans to grow its industry services arm over the next five years. It hopes to at least double the workforce in that arm of the business which stands 25 full-timers and a further 20 part-time staff.

The NMCI chief also outlined the unique maritime environment that exists in Cork with the NMCI — a constituent college of Cork Institute of Technology; the naval service; SEFtec and the soon-to-be-built UCC Beaufort research centre all in close proximity creating an ecosystem in the region and giving credence to Cork’s position as a maritime capital.


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