Frequently Asked Questions for Summer School 2018

Please take a moment to read our Frequently Asked Questions for Summer School 2018:

Why are you not offering a powerboat licence this year?

We feel this qualification is not integral to SAR work and that our Courses provide a more holistic and pertinent set of skills for rescue work.

Why can’t you attend both the Beginners’ and Advanced Courses this year?

It takes considerable experience to be a helm, and our week-long Beginners’ Course is a starting point for gaining this experience. Those with previous boat-handling experience would be more suited to the Advanced Course.

Why can’t you attend both the Beginners’ and Advanced Courses this year?

It takes considerable experience to be a helm, and our week-long Beginners’ Course is a starting point for gaining this experience. Those with previous boat-handling experience would be more suited to the Advanced Course.

I attended all three courses in 2017, is there any point coming to this year’s Summer School?

The content of this year’s Summer School will be different and more focused than previous years, with greater emphasis on rescue ship tender skills and SAR procedures.

I have an equivalent of the RYA Powerboat Level 2, am I still eligible for the Advanced Course?

International equivalents are suitable, though we will require copies before a place on our Course can be confirmed.

I have limited experience but I have my powerboat licence — should I apply for the Beginners’ or Advanced Course?

Our Advanced Course is intended to give SAR skills to people already able to helm boats — if in doubt you should attend the Beginners’ Course and gain hours at sea in preparation for next year’s Advanced Course.

I haven’t obtained my licence yet but I’m booked onto a course before the Summer School — can I still apply for the Advanced Course?

Yes — we may require proof of the booking, and if you are unable to gain the certification, any payment made for the Summer School would unfortunately be non-refundable.

What should I bring? What kit will be provided?

Bring warm clothing, a towel and any of your own kit. We will provide wetsuits and PPE (personal protective equipment).

Am I fit enough to go on the Beginner’s course?

Necessary strength is needed to get into a boat safely. This is equitable to getting out of a swimming pool without using the steps, and the technique can be practiced in the same way.

What kind of skills and qualifications will I gain?

You will receive a certificate of completion relating to the Course you have attended, as well as an AP Casualty Care qualification.

What’s the best way to get there?

We will supply you with comprehensive directions to get to UWC Atlantic College by public transport. If you are driving, free parking is available at the College and it is easy to find using online maps or Satnav.

Do I need to be a strong swimmer? How much time will be spent in the water?

While being a strong swimmer is a benefit, applicants only have to be comfortable being in the water for launching and landing vessels off the slipway. An important aspect of sea rescue is operating safely by avoiding entering the water.

What is the food and accommodation like? Will I be sharing a room?

You will be in a four-person dormitory which is not the RITZ but perfectly nice. We place a lot of emphasis on teamwork and the environment is similar to that of rescue mission or volunteer situation. The food is usually excellent.

Will there be opportunities to volunteer on missions at sea when I complete the course?

We cannot guarantee a fast track to a mission, however we are recognised and held in high esteem by other NGOs currently active in humanitarian crises. We believe that if you wish to volunteer, it is worthwhile obtaining skills to ensure that you can do the job well. We will monitor everyone’s performance during the Courses and advise how participants can improve but also how they can best help in a crisis situation, ensuring that anyone embarking on volunteering missions is applying for a suitable role.

How much future commitment does the charity hope for from people who come on the summer school? Is it worth me coming if I don’t think I’d be free to come on missions afterwards?

You will become part of the AP Crew after successfully completing the Course and we hope that you will feel a sense of loyalty. We are a growing organisation and are currently run entirely by volunteers. We will be selecting people who we feel are committed to our mission, and while this often means volunteering using the training they have gained, AP benefits from the hard work of skilled people in many different areas in order to operate as a charity.

Who is the typical AP summer school student?

You are!

What would a typical day of the Course look like?

The Summer School is full-time and there is rarely a moment doing nothing. Sessions begin at 9am and we are active, usually, until 8pm. The Courses are intense and we cover a lot of ground: much of the day is spent doing physical activities and this is often followed by evening lectures. You will need to get sleep every night and maybe drink a lot of coffee — though previous participants have always found time to socialise in the evenings.

What other facilities can I use? Is there a swimming pool or gym?

Atlantic College has a lot of facilities including two swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts. You will be able to use these resources however it will be in accordance with the College’s regulations and only at times when they are not being used by other groups.

Will we be the only group of people at UWC Atlantic College?

You will be staying on a stunning 350-acre campus (which includes a medieval castle where meals are served) with families and other guests of Atlantic College. Whilst we want you to enjoy your experience, we ask that you show respect and consideration for those that live on campus.

What kind of food do they serve at AC?

The canteen provides a wide range of food and if you have any dietary requirements, then please advise us what they are so they can be accommodated for in advance. Atlantic College is an international school with students from many different cultures and therefore they are very experienced in providing a suitable range of food.

If I attended last year’s Summer School, haven’t I already done AP’s Cas Care Course?

Yes! But we will have refresher courses running alongside delivery of the Cas Care syllabus to new participants, so your skills are maintained but you won’t be repeating the same content.