Meriturva Then and Now


Meriturva was established under the National Board of Education by a decree passed in March 1997 through the merging of a fire training unit (founded in 1976) at the Helsinki Maritime College and a ship simulator unit (established in 1984). It was joined by the survival training unit, a new institution completed in Lohja in 2002. Our current operations are based on laws and decrees pertaining to vocational education passed in 2017, the training mission declared by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the ordinance of Meriturva.

The ship simulator unit and its operations were transferred to the organisation of Yrkeshögskolan Novia (Aboa Mare) at the beginning of 2010. This action reduced overlap in functions in maritime training, and now Meriturva focuses on its area of core competence, safety training.

Meriturva today

Meriturva today consists of two units offering maritime safety training. Annually we train over 4000 people; professional mariners, maritime students, authorities, aviation personnel, etc. Meriturva's operations are subject to Meriturva's Board that consists of the most important maritime interest groups in Finland. Our training fulfils the requirements of the authorities of Finland and the EU, as well as those of the international STCW Convention and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Our quality management system adheres to the STCW Convention and the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 standard. From the year 2018 Meriturva has trained also wind power personnel by GWO standards.

The Fire Training unit located at Upinniemi Navy Base in Kirkkonummi has trained the majority of the Finnish mariners since it was established in 1976. Fire attacks, smoke diving and rescue from tanks are examples of the versatile training possibilities in Upinniemi. In the Fire training Unit there are several simulators for fire training, including a listing simulator, which demonstrates the increased difficulty to operate when the ship has a list. In 2010 the unit acquired modern, gas-burning training facilities with unique car deck fire and machine room fire simulators. Fire Training Unit got new modern classrooms in 2013. The training field was rebuilt in 2020 and at the same time gas burning trainers and simulation was established.

Meriturva's Survival Training Unit is located in the city of Lohja. The large (27 m x 43 m) inside training pool is a superb place for survival training with its simulated weather conditions and a wide selection of modern survival and evacuation equipment. One of our specialities is a rare winching rescue helicopter located indoors. Meriturva also offers Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET). For GWO training purposes the unit has versatile equipment and gear. At our life boat training station at Ojamo mine lake it is possible to train life boat operations around the year.

The simulated, realistic circumstances combined with sufficient theoretical knowledge and practice with repetitions, provide good learning results that can then be applied to real life situations. Individual needs and customer orientation are important to us. Our aim is that all our students feel they have learned something valuable at Meriturva.

Research and the future

Meriturva offers an excellent research field for the development of maritime safety in collaboration with various enterprises, research institutes, colleges, and universities. We are happy to take part in diverse projects in the industry and put our expertise at the disposal of research. We are also involved in legislation and strategy projects, aiming for seafaring that is safer than ever.

We engage in continuous collaboration with Finnish and foreign educational institutions. We have an opportunity to engage in international co-operation through our active operations with the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST), as the national representative of Finland.

Meriturva welcomes foreign seafarers, wind power workers, aviation personnel, and other maritime actors. We provide training in Finnish, Swedish, and English. Meriturva contributes to the development of seafaring and safety at sea – now and for the future.