OFFICERS of the police force got first-hand instruction on survival tactics at sea and the proper use of pyrotechnics during sea survival classes with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF)instructors yesterday.
The classes are part of a three-day program to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle search and rescue operations and also to qualify them as boat masters.
MSAF awareness officer Captain Durusolo Tavuro said the class of 22 included three civilian volunteers with a number of officers stationed in maritime areas.
"These officers have experience but they do not have the formal qualifications and that is what this course is designed for," Capt Tavuro said.
"This course is important for them because when the new MSAF decrees are gazetted, they will assist our officers in the enforcement of it.
"They will be able to inspect vessels to ensure they have the necessary safety equipment and also ensure that it is not overloaded.
"It will give them the necessary knowledge to conduct search and rescue operations if people go missing at sea."
Capt Tavuro said the number of search and rescue operations in the past year were on the decrease and this was encouraging.