I spent most of last week in Houston, re-certifying myself in rigging and crane operating. Apparently these certs are all only good for 2-4 years now- 5 tops. This particular one will be good for 4 years (that is, IF the company I go to work for doesn’t have their own required ‘training’ course on top).
This time I was at Maersk Training. The same place I’ve been working (a few days/month) as a ‘role player’ in the MEM and PIC courses they teach there. They have an excellent facility.
I really enjoyed using the simulator to practice working with the cranes. They could set it up for different kinds of cranes and different scenarios. I got to use a knuckle-boom crane (which I never had before) as well as the usual lattice-boom crane, which I was familiar with from previous ships I’ve worked on.
Check this link for a picture of me on the crane.
I have to say this course was one of the very few I’ve taken where I’ve actually learned something new. In most of the courses we’re now required to re-take every couple of years, they don’t actually have anything new to teach. It’s always just the same old stuff we learned the first time we took the course and practice every time we go offshore to work.
This one was different. There were actual changes to the material taught and in how things are being done in reality. I haven’t really worked as a ‘crane operator’, or done much rigging, in the last few years. I’ve spent most of my time on the bridge. Dealing with JSA’s and work permits is the closest I’ve been to those jobs in a while.
I’m hoping now that I have a ‘valid’ certificate in my hands again, that I’ll be able to find a job. Something better than Domino’s Pizza delivery? In a year of serious job hunting, they’re the only ones interested. 😦