Let’s take a tour of the Trinity Sailing School, where maritime training is in full force! Whether it’s undergoing a boom or ‘in fashion’, despite its advanced years, the EFPMA (Ecole de Formation Professionnelle Maritime et Aguacole) currently welcomes some 300 students a year.
Created in 1959, the school was the result of a great deal of goodwill on the part of local sailors and those who wanted to train the next generation of fishermen. The former created an association in 1901, but without funds, the first classes took place in private households, then in a local ex-college near the bay of Radoub at Fort de France.
In 1972, the school was transferred to Trinity in one of the current buildings on the Bay. Thanks to this location, access to the sea is optimized.
Mr. Jean-Paul Alaric is the director of the EFPMA, and a second class merchant navy captain, helped by Mr. Florent and Mr. Patole.
“We offer something for everyone: the young above all can learn to be merchant seaman, or mechanics, or fishermen and work toward the BEP (Brevet Elementaire Professionnel Maritime) which takes two years,” explains Alaric.
“Next, we offer adults continuing education, which includes several modules which are suitable for either the unemployed on Social Security or those already employed who wish to change professional direction. It is remarkable to know that you can start with a 10th grade level of education such as the Brevet des Colleges or a high school diploma or university degree, and begin a CIN marine qualification or the Certificat de Capacité (for fishermen) or the Module 200 in sailing, then continue to a captain’s license.”
The school is equipped with two boats to teach maneuvering, a Yole yacht for teaching local fishing and another Yole which serves as a dinghy and for safety exercises. Recently, the school received a brand new safety dinghy for exercises.
The fishermen’s school is currently training a new generation of fishermen and owners, and wants to give a new breath of life to this branch of activity. The school is open to any cruiser thanks to adaptable course modules. Currently, the EFPMA is an accredited establishment for the Region of Martinique, and the State in accordance with the Ministry of European Social Funds.