Small Domestic Vessel – Basic Safety (SDV-BS)


Small Domestic Vessel – Basic Safety (SDV-BS)

To provide new entrants to the very small commercial and or fishing industry where the boats involved are less than a certain size and type and are on specific voyage limits, with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively and efficiently in a marine incident.

Clients are advised to verify with Transport Canada Marine Safety that the MEDA3 certificate is the one they require to serve on the boat in question as there are limitations on the size, type and voyage of the vessel this certificate is valid for.

This course meets the requirements of Transport Canada TP Document 4957, Small Domestic Vessel – Basic Safety (SDV-BS) and is intended for crew members of non-pleasure vessels of not more than 150 gross tonnes operating not more than 25 nautical miles from shore.

There is no Transport Canada requirement to operate fire extinguishers or don lifejackets and function in one in the water or to inflate and work with liferafts in the water.  However, where possible, Survival Systems Training Ltd. will include practical activities (firefighting or in water work).


This program will cover the following topics and areas of concern:

  • Hazards and emergencies
  • Understanding the hazards and emergencies that may be encountered at sea
  • Emergency Response
  • Pre-planning reactions to encountering / discovering marine emergencies
  • Alarm signals on small vessels, where muster lists must be used and how on-board safety drills should be conducted and when
  • Marine Firefighting
  • Understanding the chemistry of fire and the extinguishing process
  • Learn to recognize how an extinguisher is operated, what is in it and what type of fire it can be used on from just the visual appearance of the fire extinguisher
  • Lifesaving Appliances and Abandonment (lifejackets, flotation devices, immersion suits, lifebuoys, life rafts)
  • How an inflatable liferaft is launched and inflated
  • What an immersion suit and lifejacket will do for you in an emergency
  • Survival
  • Type of equipment required in a liferaft
  • Signalling Devices
  • Distress signals carried on ships and in survival craft, how to operate them and how they can be effectively used in a distress situation
  • Rescue (equipment, vessel rescue, helicopter rescue)
  • Basic requirement for marine survival and rescue following an abandonment within 25 miles of the shore

Practical training exercises will be conducted as required.


A minimum of 8 hours of training

Course Details


  • Trainees must be at least 16 years of age.
  • A statement of health form shall be completed on the first day of the course.   A valid Medical Certificate is required to be submitted prior to start of course.  See “FAQ`s -Medical Fitness” for full details.
  • Trainees are expected to be in a good state of health and physically capable of fully taking part in all program activities.  Trainees are expected to participate in all physical training requirements.
  • A valid Government Identification is required and must be presented for registration and to the instructor on the first day of course commencement.  (Driver’s License, Passport, Vantage card) 

WITHOUT EXCEPTION, those trainees in non-compliance will be refused and billed the full program fee.


This course meets the requirements of Transport Canada TP 4957, Small Non-Pleasure Vessel Basic Safety.

All persons who successfully complete the course based on the performance standards will receive:

  • A Transport Canada EXN 24 certificate of completion for Small Non-Pleasure Vessel Basic Safety

General Course Information      Medical Requirements

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