RYA Sea Survival Course

Course Details

A one-day course for anyone going to sea, providing an understanding of how to use the safety equipment on board your boat.

Cruising is one of the safest leisure sporting activities, and 99.9% of those afloat will never use their liferaft. However, if you are part of the unlucky 0.1% your chances of survival will be greatly increased if you understand how to use the equipment and how to help yourself.

It is not only educational, but great fun and will raise your awareness of the value of being prepared in the event the unthinkable happens. Being properly trained in the use of survival equipment could help save your life.

This course is also a pre-requisite for those who are looking to gain their commercial endorsement to operate as a professional skipper. The RYA Sea Survival course includes a practical session in a swimming pool and students are encouraged to experience first hand the problems of entering an inflated and uncooperative life raft while fully kitted out in waterproofs and an inflated life jacket.

This is an excellent course that gives a real insight into safety at sea and the use of safety equipment which could one day make all of the difference.

Subjects covered on your course:

  • Preparation for sea survival
  • Lifejackets and liferafts
  • Practical wet drill
  • Principals of survival
  • Search and rescue

The Sea Survival course is ideal for:

  • Everyone with an interest in ensuring their, and their families, chances of survival in the event of an incident at sea
  • Those seeking to work commercially – it is mandatory.

No prior experience is necessary

  • The course though best suits those that already have an interest in boating and have a basic level of knowledge as this course builds on that knowledge.
  • The course requires you to enter the water and requires a level of physical capability. Please contact us in the event that you are at all unsure you are fit enough for this course.

9am-6pm with approximately 45 mins for lunch

This course includes a practical pool drill of approximately 2 hours duration

There is no minimum age for this course however all students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult

  • Pool drills tale place either at Backwell Leisure Centre Swimming Pool (for information click here) or Portishead Open Air (heated) Pool  (for information click here).
  • Clothing is required for the practical pool drill – e.g. jogging trousers, shorts, T-Shirt, plus Swim wear/underwear to be worn underneath your clothing for the pool drill. To get the most from the course, participants are requested to bring their own wet weather gear so that they can get the “feel” for what it would be like in real life. You may wear your own lifejacket if you wish however we can provide lifejackets free of charge for the duration of the pool drill. 
  • A change of clothes/clothes to wear after your practical pool drill will be required. Don’t forget a towel.

Prices, Booking and Special Offers


£110 per person;

Book for 2 people at £105 p/p or book for 3 or more at £100p/p

Basic Commercial Skipper

This package offers a 10% discount off the total advertised prices (RRP £638) and includes all of the necessary training courses for customers to complete their Level 2 Commercial Endorsement and covers the following courses:

  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 (2 days) 
  • RYA First Aid at Sea (1 day)
  • RYA Sea Survival (1 day)
  • VHF-SRC Radio Course (1 day Classroom course) NOTE: £60 exam fee is payable directly to your examiner
  • Professional Practices and Responsibilities (Online)

You will find more details on RYA / MCA Commercial Endorsements here; to check which commercial certificates/qualifications you need for different categories of water please click here.

For more information on the requirements for commercial craft please click here

To Sign up and book your pre-paid package – Click here for more details

Commercial Skipper Shorebased

This bundle offers over 10% off the RRP and provides the supporting Shorebased courses necessary to gain a Commercial endorsement – This package is for you if you already hold the relevant practical course and are looking to become a commercial skipper. This bundle combines the following courses:

  • RYA First Aid at Sea
  • RYA Sea Survival
  • RYA VHF/SRC Radio Course (Exam fee £60 not included) 
  • RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) – On-Line course

To Sign up and book your pre-paid package – Click here for more details


What you need to bring, What’s Included and What’s Not!

  • Pen and Notebook
  • Clothing for the practical pool drill – e.g. jogging trousers, shorts, T-Shirt, plus Swim wear/underwear to be worn underneath your clothing for the pool drill. 
  • To get the most from the course, participants are requested to bring their own wet weather gear so that they can get the “feel” for what it would be like in real life.
  • You may wear your own lifejacket if you wish however we can provide lifejackets free of charge for the duratin of the pool drill. 
  • A change of clothes/clothes to wear after your practical pool drill.
  • Don’t forget a towel.
  • RYA Sea Survival Handbook
  • Free parking at our Training Centre
  • Free hot drinks/biscuits at our Training Centre
  • Free parking at our Leisure Centre
  • Lunch/Meals are not provided but we do have a small tuckshop with snacks/cold drinks for purchase, we have a cafe onsite (open 0900-1600 daily) and there are several local shops/cafes within a short walk to purchase food.
  • Transport to the swimming pool. 
  • Drinks/Snacks at the swimming pool.

Shorebased Blogs

Read more about our shorebased courses from our blog