Safety First: Vessel Familiarization & Basic Safety Training

Life Ring

Before the start of their first Sea Term, all 4/C cadet majoring in Marine Transportation, Marine Engineering, and Facilities Engineering must successfully complete a course called, Vessel Familiarization & Basic Safety Training.  This course teaches student to appropriately react during a fire or any other shipboard emergency situations that could occur at sea or at the dock.  Every cadet learns how to identify and correct potential hazards on the TS Kennedy so that emergencies may be prevented.  Cadets also learn to correctly use survival equipment so that they may not only save their own lives, but the lives of others.  Throughout their careers at sea, Massachusetts Maritime Academy cadets will know how to handle to any emergency that may arise.

Here's what a group of 4/C cadets had to say about Vessel Familiarization & Basic Safety Training

“The part I have enjoyed the most was learning to lower the lifeboat by lifting the break.  I served as the boat officer and gave orders to three other cadets during the launching procedure.”  – 4/C Connor Kirrane (MENG – Plymouth, MA)

“I learned how to be a leader in a disaster.  I mastered being able to lower lifeboats, as well as handling other emergencies that may occur.”
- 4/C Jack Schrier (MTRA – Rockville, MD)


“I took Vessel Familiarization last year, and the most exciting thing was when we were learning about different knots the boys in the class wanted to test them out. They hoisted one of our shipmates up. I have attached the picture below. There was never a dull moment.”  2/C Gabriella Struss (IMB – North Attleboro, MA)

cadets lifting cadet with a rope
Now this is truly hands-on learning!

“I enjoyed my professor, Lieutenant Albion Llewellyn, in the lecture portion and some of the aspects of the lab.”  – 4/C James Anderson (FENG – Duxbury, MA)

Name Plate for professor

“I think ships are fascinating.  It is good to hear my teacher tell us sea stories. I think I enjoyed the instruction about survival capacities the most.”
– 4/C Abigail Stiltner (MTRA – Middleton, MA)

“I enjoyed rowing the Monomoy boats, knot tying, and splicing line.”  – 4/C Anthony Cirello (MTRA – New Haven, CT)

knot with white line

“I've enjoyed most of the stories that my teacher tells us about his time at sea.”  – 4/C Richard Blume (FENG – Dedham, MA)

“I enjoyed launching the lifeboat the most.  It was a great hands-on experience in case of an emergency. Being able to actually go through the step of launching the lifeboat into the water gave me more confidence to do so if needed.”  – 4/C Kyle Casano (FENG – Bourne, MA)