Tug safety training offered at Port's state-of-the-art simulation suite
A powerful virtual-reality ship simulation system, operated by the Port of Milford Haven is running courses to train tugboat operators from across Britain.
The Navigation Suite, based at Milford Waterfront, creates highly realistic computer-generated versions of any port in the world, giving trainees the opportunity to take the controls of any vessel, including tugboats, to practice scenarios.
Tug skippers from Williams Marine Services and Teignmouth Harbour Commission spent two days undertaking theory based safety training and working on simulated ‘as real’ scenarios within the port. The training focused on the dangers around small conventional tug handling, the importance of good communication between pilots and tug handlers, and working in poor weather conditions.
Harbourmaster and Chief Executive Officer at Teignmouth Harbour Commission, Commander David Vaughan, put some of his team through the course, “Our employees returned from the course with nothing but praise for an excellent, well run and well-presented course. There has been a gap in the market for this kind of training for small port tug operators which has now been filled.”
Steve Hardcastle, Deputy Harbourmaster at the Port of Milford Haven, manages the simulation suite. “This facility enables maritime professionals to get bespoke training in a safe environment,” said Steve. “The cutting-edge technology means that any type of incident can be replicated in any location. The suite is operated by marine professionals and pilots and who have experienced the scenarios that are presented during the exercises, so they are well placed to oversee the training. This course is overseen by David Brown of DB Marine, a very experienced tug professional.”
Built using MARIN’s latest software, DOLPHIN, the navigation suite can introduce additional environmental and hydrodynamic forces, and gives Tug Masters or Boat Masters the opportunity to carry out the towage of single or multiple barge movements either pulling, pushing or ‘hipped up’ depending on the size of the barge or pontoon.
They work in the simulated form on small and some larger ships understanding and realising the dangers of connecting up, girting and under the bow towage.