Skip to main content Skip to site utility navigation Skip to main site navigation Skip to site search Skip to footer

Marine Foundations - Marine Emergency Duties

Get the skills and certifications needed to work as a deck hand or crew member on a commercial ship.

Five people participate in an on-water rescue exercise.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
3 Weeks
Certificate of Completion

Apply Now


This 100-hour program gives you the knowledge, skills, and Transport Canada marine emergency duties certifications required to work safely as a deck hand or crew member on a commercial ship in Canadian and international waters.

You learn:

  • How the Occupational Health and Safety Act of Nova Scotia and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System regulations apply within a marine environment
  • Personal survival and firefighting skills
  • How to respond to a marine emergency
  • Emergency response duties associated with survival craft and rescue boats
  • How to provide basic first aid

Choose NSCC

  • For more detailed information specific to the marine industry, visit Careers at Sea.

Other info

  • This program is part of the A'paqt (Oceans): Building Bridges for Women and Indigenous Peoples in Marine Training project. It aims to improve access to and awareness of marine training and employment opportunities for women and Indigenous peoples.

November 2023

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Strait Area Campus
Port Hawkesbury
Full time In person
Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements.
Seats available

Admission requirements

There are no admissions requirements for this program.

  • Please note that international students are not eligible for this program.

Program requirements

  • You must be 16 years of age or older prior to completion of the program.
  • You must provide a valid Transport Canada Marine Medical certificate indicating you are fit for service. You may be assessed by a variety of criteria including physical fitness, visual acuity, peripheral and colour vision, depth perception, and hearing sensitivity. Medical assessments can only be completed by a medical examiner recognized by Transport Canada. Visit Transport Canada for a list of authorized physicians, by location. Further details are provided with your acceptance notification.


Tuition amounts are for the 2023-24 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for College services, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Funding available for women and Indigenous peoples
To help meet the marine industry demand and diversify the workforce, the federal government is providing $2.5 million in bursaries for women and Indigenous peoples.

  • As a woman or Indigenous person, you may qualify to have 90% of your costs covered by a bursary for your education. View funding details for women and Indigenous people.
  • As an Indigenous person, you are automatically considered for additional funds (up to $300 per week) to help with living expenses while enrolled in nautical courses.

Career options

Graduates work as entry-level crew aboard commercial ships that operate in Canadian and international waters.

Future study options

Graduates are prepared to continue studying at NSCC's Nautical Institute.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

MEDC 1811 – Marine Basic First Aid
This course provides learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize an emergency, provide appropriate first aid at the scene, notify emergency medical services and promote a safety oriented life style for the prevention of accidents. This course meets the requirements for first aid training as set out by Transport Canada and Workplace Occupational Health and Safety.

MEDC 1821 – STCW Basic Safety
This course provides all Seafarers with the basic understanding of the hazards associated with the Marine Environment and their own vessel; the prevention of shipboard incidents, including fire and procedures for abandonment. It provides Seafarers with the knowledge necessary to raise and react to alarms and to deal with emergencies. The course will ensure that all Seafarers are able to provide assistance in fire and abandonment in emergency situations. It will provide Seafarers with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to assist in their own survival and rescue. The course content meets Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeeping Seafarers, MED with respect to STCW Basic Safety (MED BST). This course also aligns with Transport Publication 5562 of the Transport Canada certification standard for officer cadets.

MEDC 1822 – Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats
This course is designed to provide seafarers with the basic understanding and knowledge of survival craft and rescue boats, other than fast rescue boats. It meets STCW 6.2 and Canadian requirements under Crewing Regulations for training of marine personnel – MED with respect to Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other than Fast Rescue Boats (MED SC). Participants will advance their knowledge of marine survival craft and associated equipment as well as prepare to manage crew and passengers during abandoning of a vessel, surviving at sea, and being rescued. The course includes: Introduction and Safety; Emergency Situations; Principles of Survival; Use of Personal Survival Equipment; Helicopter Rescue; Survival Craft and Rescue Boats; Launching Arrangements; Lifeboat Engine and Accessories; evacuation; Signalling Equipment and Pyrotechnics; Action Aboard a Survival Craft; Launching and Recovering Lifeboats; Life Raft Launching; Launching and Handling Survival Craft in Rough Weather; Radio Equipment.

SAFE 1000 – Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners a basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 – Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

Apply Now

Learn more about this program

Contact us

Share your details with us and we'll send you a program overview.

Required fields are marked with a red symbol (*)

Thank you for contacting us.
Your program overview is on the way. While you wait, feel free to browse our list of Programs & Courses or visit our Admissions information section.

Explore similar programs

To find other programs and career options that might be a good fit for you check out these areas of interest: