Lifeboat lessons at Bidyadanga Pool

18 February 2022

KJ Rangers in a lifeboat in the poolPools make an excellent and safe environment to train in. So, when Bidyadanga Community Pool Manager, Bernie Egan was asked if the pool could be used for Lifeboat training drills it was a big "YES".

Grant from KGB Marine was excited to see a pool in Bidyadanga that could be used for training purposes. He is currently working with the Karajarri Rangers to gain their Grade 2 Coxswain Certificate. This committed crew of indigenous rangers is responsible for looking after Karajarri country, carrying out various activities aligned with Karajarri cultural values, practising both traditional and western styles of land management.

The Coxswain Certificate is giving this group of Karajarri adults the skills to work as a coxswain, the person on a boat in charge of navigating and steering. To be in charge of a lifeboat means that an appointed person must get the boat and crew to a safe harbor or point of rescue. In case of an emergency, that involves getting personnel into the lifeboats and navigating away from danger.KJ Rangers in lifejackets beside their abandoned lifeboat

The current unit being completed by the Karajarri Rangers is called Elements of Shipboard Safety, and required participants to put on life jackets and enter the pool, simulating jumping from a boat. They also performed rescue tows and climbing into a 4-person life raft. The participants practiced bailing out the lifeboat and righting the raft.

KJ Rangers huddled in a group in lifejacketsBidyadanga Remote Pool Manager Bernie Egan says the training was fun, and eye-opening, for the participants. “The rangers were pretty snug in the 4-person life raft and all agreed that while training is important, no one wants to be floating around the ocean in one. But they are ready if it ever occurs.”

The Karajarri Rangers have two boats that they regularly use for surveys and research of the coastline on Karajarri Country. This training will help to ensure that they will be safer when working out on the water.