Last week, West Coast regular and reserve force boatswains detonated explosives at the site of a former leper colony.
Eleven students participated in demolition training on Bentinck Island beach from June 27 to 30, under the watchful eye of highly trained instructors. The Grade Qualification Sailor Third Class (RQS3) course marks the start of the boatswain training.
Chief Petty Officer Second Class (CPO2) Scott Colburn, Marine Division Chief Petty Officer, said the training went very well. “The pod was very motivated, even during a short training break for a pod of Southern Vancouver Island resident killer whales that were passing through the area,” he said.
During demolition training, boatswains learn to use explosives carefully so that once employed on a ship, they can use these techniques to safely sink an abandoned boat or shipping container. half sunk, said CPO 2 Colburn.
Training takes place throughout the year as part of the boatswain job. Before beginning live demolition training, all students must pass the safety exam with a minimum passing score of 100%.
CPO2 Colburn said demolitions training ranges from rudimentary to more complex concepts. “It starts with basic part and part identification, safety and safe handling procedures, then moves to basic load creation using visual aids and dummy training aids,” did he declare.
All safety precautions are taken around the training, he assured. “Highly trained supervisors from the Naval School’s Seamanship Division (Pacific) (NFS(P)) ensure the training is conducted safely,” he said. “Staff are properly trained. Appropriate arcs and clearances are calculated and observed precisely based on the size of the load and the type of material to be demolished. »
Additionally, CPO2 Colburn said security boats are stationed off Bentinck Island to ensure no civilian boats cross the security perimeter while the range is live.
NFS(P) also works closely with Formation Safety and Environment (FSE) to ensure demolition training has a minimal effect on wildlife on Bentinck Island. “The FSE team is collecting sound data via a hydrophone to verify that sound created above water is not harmful to marine mammals underwater,” said CPO2 Colburn.
Before detonating explosives, NFS(P) ensures that the area around Bentinck Island is free of marine mammals. The Marine Mammal Observation Team has the final say on when training can take place.
“This ensures that we don’t detonate explosives when there are marine mammals within the measured safe arcs,” said CPO2 Colburn.
Before demolition training takes place, public service announcements are posted and local authorities are informed of the day’s activities. The School will be offering another RQS3 Demolitions training course starting July 11, unless otherwise specified by the fire index.