Why is there an old prawn trawler sitting at Bundy TAFE?
AMID the classrooms and students at the TAFE campus at Bundaberg there is a strange sight that appears out of place.
The Triton - a rusty, ex-commercial prawn trawler, more than 12m in length sits at the Walker St campus.
But far from being a relic of the sea, the Triton serves a unique purpose - since 2013 it has provided students with the opportunity to practice a large variety of practical skills on a real marine vessel.
Students studying marine education are able to experience firsthand how to prepare a piece of steel, paint a boat, look after a boat and recognise when it's getting unseaworthy.
Trainer and assessor David James said the Triton allowed students to observe how vessels are constructed and how they deteriorate.
It also includes training in hull maintenance, bilge pumping systems, electrolysis, electrical systems and refrigeration
"It means the absolute ideal training aid because it allows students to see what has happened to a vessel over the years," Mr James said.
"Before that we used to go to the port and visit various vessels to actually conduct the training."
Students from across Australia and even overseas have attended the marine-based courses.
The training gives people, working on commercial craft, the ability to fight fires, survive at sea if the vessel sinks and release distress flares.
With fewer places available to conduct maritime training on commercial boats, the Bundaberg campus is unique.
"There is a big demand for it," Mr James said.
"Currently we have 22 students."
TAFE Queensland East Coast runs four 8-week training blocks throughout the year.
For more information visit http://www.tafeqld.edu.au.