Cook Islands Bronze Medallion Course Underway
Cook Islands (27 June 2023) – The Cook Islands Bronze Medallion (CIBM) Training Programme 2023 begins this evening, with participants from a cross section of water-based tourism operators, including turtle tour operators, jetski operators, and resort activity personnel. The CIBM course is sponsored by Cook Islands Tourism and is being held from 27 June to 9 July 2023.
The CIBM Training Programme 2023 includes theory lessons during the week from 6pm at the YWAM, and practical work undertaken on the weekends when turtle operators are not conducting tours. The course will conclude with an assessment, and successful participants will be awarded the CIBM certification. This year the programme has been extended to include a train-the-trainer course, which will develop four locals to deliver training year-round.
Cook Islands Tourism's expression of interest for the CIBM training, which was sent out 19 May 2023, resulted in over 20 interested participants. Registered participants include turtle tour operators: Ocean Toa, Go Local Cook Islands, Rarotonga Turtle Tours, Ariki Adventures, AquaOz Turtleman Tours, Charlotte Piho Turtle Tours. New to the CIBM training include new jetski operator TVK Water Sports and activity personnel from Edgewater Resort. Notably absent from registering is Snorkel Cook Islands.
The course is being delivered by Lisa Maddison, Australia’s national awardee of the 2022 Surf Life Saving Australia Rescue Medal and the 2022 Queensland Surf Life Saving Excellence Award. This is the third time that Maddison has worked with Water Safety and Surf Lifesaving Council Cook Islands and Cook Islands Tourism to deliver the CIBM course in country.
“This course is an important part of ensuring the safety of our visitors and our local community,” said Karla Eggelton, CEO of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation. “We are committed to providing our tourism operators with access to best practice skills and knowledge they need to keep people safe in the water. We are obviously disappointed that some of the operators have not registered any of their team to the programme. Regardless of how qualified operators think they are, a refresher is always helpful. We need to take this seriously, and I commend those operators who have prioritised this opportunity.”
Brad Kirner, Director of Destination Development, added that it is important that our tour guides and any water operator are safe and can apply practical learnings to their respective environments to care for themselves and their guests. “The CIBM course provides participants with the skills and knowledge they need to respond to a range of water-based emergencies,” said Kirner. “It also covers topics such as first aid, CPR, and rescue techniques.”
Lisa Maddison and the team will also be visiting schools on Rarotonga to deliver some education around being water safe and take them through some surf lifeguarding skills. Maddison will also be heading to Aitutaki to present to Araura college as well as completing an evening educating the Aitutaki community of the work that is being done in this space and how important it is for everyone to be water safe.
For more information, please contact Brent Fisher Water Safety and Surf Lifesaving Council Cook Islands on 55154.