Bridge Watch Rating Program
The Transport Canada accredited Bridge Watch Rating program at Western Maritime Institute provides excellent entry level training for those who have little or no marine experience but would like to work as deckhands in the marine industry. This program is a prerequisite to sail as a deckhand on vessels over 500 gross tonnage with major tug and barge employers, the Canadian Coast Guards, and BC Ferries.
Our Bridge Watch Rating Program is 12 weeks long and prepares entry level seafarers with the knowledge of the functions related to the Bridge Watch, the Standards of Safe Working Procedures and understanding of the hazards associated with the marine environment and their vessel.
The Western Maritime Institute’s Bridge Watch Rating Program is fully approved by Transport Canada, which means that successful completion of the program will make you eligible for four months of sea service remission. This program is approved by the Private Training Institutions Branch of BC and eligible for student loans.
After the Courses
After you have successfully completed the required courses, you will need to submit your course certificates, Statement of Sea Service documenting two months of sea time, and Steering Testimonial showing 10 hours of experience steering a vessel, to Transport Canada.
- Bridge Watch Rating course
- MED STCW Basic Safety training certificate
- MED Survival Craft and Rescue Boats training certificate
- Marine Basic First Aid certificate
- Restricted Operator Certificate – Marine Commercial
Students are to fulfill all requirements in order to obtain their Bridge Watch Rating certificate. Students who have completed their MEDs, ROC-MC and/or Marine First Aid course elsewhere will be required to provide those certificates prior to receiving the Bridge Watch Rating certificate.
- Grade 12 preferred or mature student status.
- Seafarer’s Medical: It is strongly recommended that you schedule a Seafarer’s Medical with a Transport Canada-approved doctor prior to the program start date to ensure that you are physically able to undertake employment in the marine industry.
- Candidate Document Number (CDN) from Transport Canada.
Career Opportunities for Bridge Watch Rated Deckhands
Demand for entry level marine workers is growing. As an aging workforce retires, there are numerous opportunities being created in this field, making this an ideal time to embark on your seafaring career. Combining practical and theoretical training, this program introduces students to all aspects of the mariner’s trade.
Upon successful completion of the Bridge Watch Rating program, you should be able to:
- understand the organization and duties of ship personnel;
- steer the vessel;
- keep a lookout;
- perform ship maintenance;
- understand signalling and flag communication;
- work safely with chain, fibre and wire ropes including knots and splices;
- perform anchoring and mooring line duties;
- retrieve and launch lifeboats and fast rescue craft ;
- assist with cargo handling procedures and equipment
With the deckhand certificate gained at Western Maritime Institute, our Bridge Watch Rating graduates are now employed with:
- British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.
- Canadian Coast Guards
- Gowlland Towing Ltd
- Various tug and barge companies
- Fishing industry