Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Training Course

Discussion in 'General Open Forum' started by LuckyIfYouCatchOne, Feb 12, 2020 at 6:45 PM.

  1. fishin solo

    fishin solo Well-Known Member

    I did my svop, med, and radio tickets at lands end on Granville island. He offers them there and the Sunshine Coast. All my other tickets I’ve had to get for work Ive done them at western maritime institute in ladysmith.
    LuckyIfYouCatchOne and noluck like this.
  2. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Right on ya it's good knowledge to have that's for sure. There's a lot of helpful information in the courses but like anything else if it's not practiced regularly it can be quickly forgotten. Just the list of buoy's identification is a lot to remember. We are used to seeing and using just a few different ones around our harbor's for navigation purposes but there's so many that are helpful if you can identify why they are there in the first place. I think one of the best take a way's and one of the most important things covered in the course that a large majority of the pleasure craft boaters on the waters doesn't know about is the cold water immersion facts and emergency responses etc. If more people realized that it's the cold water that causes us to drown, not not being able to swim, and not hypothermia then I think a lot more of us would be wearing life jackets/pfd's all the time while on our coast. When I go over safety on my boat with folks before heading out I ask every guest or passenger the same question "if you fall in the water in our waters what is the most immediate danger and what will kill you the fastest?" So far to date not a single person has answered that correctly. And that list of people includes a lot of people that have been spending time fishing, traveling, working on our coast. Most people say "drowning or hypothermia, but I can swim very well" So I then usually ask them if they think they could make it to shore swimming in our waters or back to a boat if they get thrown over board or if they have to abandoned ship if there was a crisis, without a life jacket on. They usually say something lik "ya no problem I'm a great swimmer". So I make a point of explaining to everyone that comes on my boat that it's not the fact that you can't swim, or that hypothermia will kill you if you are immersed in cold water for too long. It's the cold water effect on your muscles, organs, etc. You will lose motor skills and all function of your arms and legs in our cold water in only minutes of being immersed in it. Without a life jacket on you will sink and drown far far before you get hypothermia. If you have a life jacket on you will last longer and may be rescued while still alive. Yes you may get hypothermia if immersed long enough with a life jacket on. But without one on you will die for certain if not pulled out of our fidget waters quickly. If a person has poor health conditions, heart etc then it will most likely be the cold water shock that will kill them even before they actually drown or a combination of the two. Most people seem to have a fixation on hypothermia and swimming ability yet have not been educated that that's not what is going to kill them if they are not wearing a life jacket.

    Sorry for rambling but that topic hits close to home for me as I've lost a few people I've known and close friends to our waters here in BC. One of them just last summer who died when his boat capsized near Bella Coola. He was a friend that took all the safety courses with me. His passengers all survived cause they were wearing life jackets. We have no idea why he didn't have enough life jackets on board for everyone including himself but for some reason he didn't and he drowned cause he didn't have one on. The passengers that survived said they all went in the water at the same time as the boat rolled over from taking on too much water from bad weather, heavy rain, and waves going over the transom. Jeff grabbed a seat cushion. They all started swimming to shore. One of the passengers said he looked back at Jeff and saw him trying to swim away from the boat with the cushion. Only minutes later when they looked back at Jeff he was gone. He lost use of his arms and legs as they went completely stiff from the cold water. He sunk and drowned and everyone else made it to shore which was only a hundred yards from where the boat capsized.

    To me that's reason alone why courses like these should be mandatory for anyone wanting to be boating on our waters. Not just for the safety knowledge for themselves but for the fact that that knowledge may just save someone they bring on their boat that has no idea about these kinds of things.
    Oly1, Unreel and LuckyIfYouCatchOne like this.
  3. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    I remember when I was 13 we went to a camp on Anvil island with the grade 8 class. This was early October and for some reason they thought it would be ok to let us use the big slide into the ocean. I'm a pretty good swimmer and I was too cool for a lifejacket. I remember having a really good run at the slide and saying "watch how far I'll get!". All I remember after that was being under water and not being able to lift my arm up to the teachers that were on shore pulling kids up. Those that had there lifejackets on just bobbed back up and the teachers grabbed them by the jacket and yanked them up. For the life of me I could not lift my arm over my head. I don't remember how I eventually got out but for a brief moment I seriously thought I would die. You are absolutely right that the shock of the cold is 100% paralyzing.
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  4. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Yup cold water shock lasts about two minutes. The shock alone can kill you cause that's where panic starts, gasps for air or actually not taking in breaths of air, swallowing large amounts of water, heart attack, stroke, and temporary paralysis. But if you survive that initial first minute of shock then you still have only minutes to live without a life jacket on in waters our temperatures around our coast which average surface temperatures from 5 to 12 degrees C from winter to summer months. Without a life jacket on in frigged waters if you survive the couple minutes of shock then you will completely lose function of your arms and legs in anywhere from just a few minutes to 30 minutes depending on the water temperature and your health. In winter months in our waters it's only a few minutes. If you have a life jacket on and manage to stay alive then hypothermia kicks in around 30 minutes after being immersed in the frigged water.
    When I was 16 my best friend and I were rescued off of Sayers Lake when our canoe capsized just days after most of the ice had come off of the lake. The shore lines still had ice all along it on the water. Had just got my drivers license. Loaded up my friends dad's canoe, some beer and some weed. I stood up to take a piss. Then all I saw was bubbles and my friend across from me under the water and all of our gear floating around us. I got water in my lungs cause I gasped as I hit the water and went under. When I got to the surface I was coughing up water. Had that been an ocean with waves etc for sure I would have drowned cause I would not have been able to clear the water from my lungs and I would have taken more water in I'm sure. We had no life jackets on. We were dressed in multiple layers of clothing and hiking boots with two layers of socks on. We were far away from shore. We both grabbed seat cushions that floated but we are big guys and they only helped a bit. My friend Mike looked very panicked but I was screaming at him to not stop swimming to shore. He had stopped twice and I was freaking out at him to not stop. Even screaming was hard cause not much sound comes out when your body is trying to shut down from the cold. Another fisherman in an inflatable row boat came to help us. Mike was in worse condition than me so he helped him first then me. Our lips were blueish purple when we got to shore and we both couldn't talk. The guy that saved us happened to know us both. He was a few years older than us and we knew each other from growing up in the same small town. He made a big fire on the shore line for us. I didn't know it at the time but apparently more layers of clothes helps when in cold water but when out of the water you must take the wet clothes off. We lost our motor skills to take our clothes off. When I got to shore I barely crawled on to the rocks. The guy that saved us took our clothes off of us. I have had close calls since them while fishing around BC both in salt and fresh water. I have watched a man lose his life right next to me on the Fraser River. A husband and a father. On a fishing trip up north a friend and I have pulled our other friend out of white water while rafting down a river and he was tossed out of the raft and his waders filled up with water. We had no life jackets on. Water was raging over his body and his head. I still have nite mares about that day. He is still one of my best friends and we still fish together. So much can go wrong so quickly around water. The more we know about it the better.
  5. LuckyIfYouCatchOne

    LuckyIfYouCatchOne New Member

    Thank you for this great response and food for thought...I have been fishing our local waters in my small boat for the past year and have always wondered what would happen if my boat were to take on water or capsize...I always wear my life jacket and always make my friends/family wear theirs...this will be good information to share with them when we are out on the water...I do carry a bag that has extra life jackets attached to the outside of the bag and keep a full body wet suit with scuba fins in it with other emergency gear...the hope is if the boat were to take on water/capsize the bag will fall out and come to the surface and then I can put on my suit/fins, and depending on scenario stay with hopefully the floating boat or swim to shore...I have been meaning to do a simulation drill at the dock to see if I would actually be able to put a wetsuit on if I fell in the cold water...from the sounds of what you describe it might not even be possible because I might not want to risk briefly removing my life jacket to put on the wetsuit...only way to find out is to try a practice drill...thanks again for the information!
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  6. fishin solo

    fishin solo Well-Known Member

    Pretty hard to put on a suit after the fact. In all our training and drills we are taught to always put on first, even before going into a life raft. The cold water will kill you faster then you think.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 12:02 PM
  7. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Ya I would not recommend ever taking a life jacket off to put a suit on while in the water if the water is as cold as our coastal waters. In only minutes you lose body function skills and you won't know if or when you will lose complete muscle failure. It could be during that minute of taking the life jacket off. Also wouldn't recommend doing a practice drills in our waters without someone in an immersion suit right next to you. Most people die/drown while very close to shore, dock, boat etc.
    During our safety courses we were shown a video made by the Canadian Coast Guard showing all of this stuff but I can't find that video online. But here's a good one done by the USA. They explain it all very well and show people doing a drill without life jackets on in 45F water (7C).

    LuckyIfYouCatchOne likes this.
  8. LuckyIfYouCatchOne

    LuckyIfYouCatchOne New Member

    Agree and planned on having someone properly prepared/supervising my practice drill...There is not much difference in our local water temperatures from summer to winter. Average winter water temperature is 7 degrees and average summer water temperature is 10.4 degrees...I have done lots of swimming and snorkeling without a wetsuit in our local waters during the summertime by porteau cove as well as winter diving with a wetsuit...I think it will be interesting to experience a cold water submersion and the effects it has on me personally...Most people do not wear cold water immersion suits or wetsuits while out on their boat so a practice and simulation scenario might change my personal perspective to wear one at all times or give me the insight that I can or can’t put on a wetsuit after being submerged...I enjoyed watching the video thanks
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  9. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    Ya I've thought about doing drill myself to see how I will respond to it especially now older and not as fit as I was the last time I was in that situation. But even a difference of 4 or 5 degrees from winter to summer is a fair bit and keep in mind off shore temps will also be lower than inshore, inside shallow bay temperatures. For example we were swimming in a bay on the sunshine coast in August and the water temperature was 14 degrees. A bit away from the bay as we headed out I checked my sounder and it consistently dropped temp. Out in the straight on the same day only minutes later that water temp was 10 degrees. But all in all yes for sure our waters are always pretty cold even in Summer months.
    Ah winter diving with a wet suit eh. Nice. Have you tried spear fishing on our coast with a wet suit? Is yours a 7mm? I'll be taking Occupational Scuba certification in the summer time. Dry suit diving though. I've got my open water certification currently. Putting a compressor on my boat this Spring time and will be diving from it a lot.
    LuckyIfYouCatchOne likes this.
  10. Peahead

    Peahead Well-Known Member

    I did my SVOP here at their North Van location. It wasn't recent but they still run the business and I'd give them a thumbs up.
  11. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    I am looking forward to the education. Being in Navy for 34 years, I do not think I will be in bunker gear and SCBA with 1000's of ltrs of burning fuel doing my sweep, change pattern, advance on fire, fires out, overhauled and post sentry drills. Or in Tumalt while the 1000's gls of freezing ocean water pours in, learn very very fast leak stopping, hatch and door shoring, pump starting/maintenance/operation, those that fail float in freezing water while getting air from the small shrinking space left. Until instructor hits safety. Cold water drowning is all you guys mention above, and very dangerous/common and real, no swimming, assume the H.E.L.P. and pray/hope to get rescued. Training for that was enter water, turn over life raft, get in and help your sailor family. In Navy you do all those drills and more over and over until you get it right. Being a FA instructor/expired will be a good update refresher. Man I miss that "fun". Its a new Navy now so some of the videos we were made to watch are now banned, too hard to watch for newer generations. Sure made things real. Train as you fight.

    Not thinking my 5 days of training will be the same but sure will reinforce previously learned techniques. A win win deal.

    Corey_lax likes this.
  12. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    Does anywhere offer these courses in Victoria?
  13. Corey_lax

    Corey_lax Crew Member

    Can you make some vhs copies of those videos and dispute it to us less PC people?
  14. LuckyIfYouCatchOne

    LuckyIfYouCatchOne New Member

    My dives on our coast have been with a 7mm wetsuit chasing crabs usually...lots of fun and reminds me of when I grew up diving for lobster on the east coast of Florida...haven’t tried spearfishing here but use to spearfish all the time in diving partner and I talked about trying to spearfish here but he recently moved so I haven’t been out to try yet.

    That’ll be sweet having your occupational scuba certification and having a compressor on the boat! A drysuit is definitely the way to go.
    Chasin' Dreams likes this.
  15. 32Knots

    32Knots New Member

  16. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

  17. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    I only have those videos in my head, would definitely be illegal in todays huggee lets not make it real world.

  18. Birdsnest

    Birdsnest Well-Known Member

    Unless the vessel is under about 24 feet then the pleasure craft will do.
  19. Chasin' Dreams

    Chasin' Dreams Well-Known Member

    No, not if its commercial, earning an income from. And that's what he said he was going to be doing with it. He will need the SVOP, ROC-M (Radio) and SDV-BS (the old MED3) and marine first aid as per Transport Canada regulations.
    agentaqua, fishin solo and casper5280 like this.
  20. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    99% sure what CD says is true & reliable, BN.

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