New Simulator Helps Train Louisiana Mariners

Thursday, May 16, 2002
The latest plank in the ongoing effort to produce and maintain well-trained mariners was unveiled at Delgado Community College recently. The college now boasts a new Navi Trainer Professional 4000 full mission ship simulator, which currently simulates 10 vessels and five ports. By training on the simulator, mariners are tested on their abilities to make decisions in very realistic situations on a vessel. Acquiring the $300,000 system became a reality through Incumbent Worker Training funds and the combined efforts of maritime companies and Delgado. In all, nearly $12 million in IWT grants has been given to Delgado to train Louisiana workers through all of their programs. The Navi Trainer Professional 4000 full mission ship simulator is the first in the region (including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama). It is the largest amount in IWT funds ever presented to a single training provider. The simulator demonstrates dangerous situations - such as getting too close to another vessel, or actually hitting another vessel - allowing mariners to learn correct responses in the event of an emergency. Approximately 75 students have been trained on the simulator through the IWT grants, and approximately 500 will be trained on the simulator this year. In addition, Delgado has trained a total of 3,300 students through the grants in over 20 course topics, and 6,800 are expected to be trained through the grants all together. "The mission ship simulator is one of the finest machines anywhere to train marine operators," said Secretary of Labor Garey Forster. "It can realistically demonstrate specific problems that mariners may run into and how those problems can be corrected. The partnership with Delgado and the maritime industry has been extremely successful, and we will continue to be committed to showing the business community that we can take their tax dollars and effectively use them to better train the workers in Louisiana. This partnership is just the tip of the iceberg." Not only does the mission ship simulator teach mariners how to operate in several ports and vessels, but it also simulates conditions such as fog, high seas, rough water, and night and day. It will also soon simulate rainfall as well. In addition, it simulates main ports across the country such as New York, the Port of New Orleans and Houston. "The simulator is a wonderful way to test the students to see if they're capable of handling certain situations," said Rick Schwab, project manager at Delgado. "With the simulator, we can put mariners in realistic circumstances that they could very well run into in a 'real' vessel. It's a great way to make sure that the students are competent to handle a variety of situations, ranging from normal to dangerous." "Imagine going from a simple classroom lecture every day to actually participating in realistic confidence training," he said. "I had a student come to me just the other day and say, 'Thank you for the privilege of being trained on a simulator. I couldn't have afforded to travel to another port for this kind of training.' It's unbelievable." Matt Kristof, director of Marine Operations and Facilities at Casino Rouge in Baton Rouge, trained on the mission ship simulator last November and December. "I think the simulator is the best and most important tool ever introduced to deck officers," said Kristof. "Many simulators nationwide only allow you to train on big vessels, but the simulator at Delgado lets you train on small boats or big ships. That's a plus since there are 10,000 to 15,000 small boats in the nation versus 300 ships. Delgado caters to all ship industries. It's absolutely fantastic. I can't say enough about it." Faron Chiasson, administrative manager at Crosby Tugs, LLC, in Galliano, said that approximately 20 of his employees have trained on the simulator so far, and he expects an estimated 75 employees to complete the simulator course this year. "We are so excited about it," said Chiasson. "We are extremely thankful for the opportunity for our guys to train at Delgado. Many of them cannot afford to travel out of state, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal for them. It keeps them off the unemployment roles, and the certification gives them the opportunity to make up to $350 a day as a deck captain. They can practice on the simulator instead of taking dangerous risks in a 'real' vessel, so it helps them to avoid accidents." Captain Dean Bruch, an instructor at Delgado who has piloted down the Mississippi River and the Panama Canal, said that the mission ship simulator course has everything that mariners need, including the U.S. Coast Guard requirements. "You're on a simulator, but you're under strain, too," said Bruch. "This is required training in order for mariners to upgrade their licenses and maintain employment. We just want everyone to have the safest ship possible, and training on the simulator is as close as you can come to showing someone how to do that without being on a ship." According to Dwayne Boudreaux, human resources manager for Marine Superior Energy Services in New Orleans, teamwork is another important aspect of the simulator. Boudreaux helped develop the simulator program, which is a Coast Guard approved course and an STCW (Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) approved course. "By learning on the simulator, students are able to gather together to work as a team, which is important when running a vessel," said Boudreaux. "Our guys are completely fascinated when they return from training on the simulator. It has so many variables like night and day, different ports and foggy weather, that it is just like running a real vessel." In the near future, Delgado's simulator will give mariners approximately 30 ports to choose from, including ports from all major cities, east coast cities and the open sea. "We at Delgado believe in hands-on, confidence-based training," said Schwab. "Through the cooperative efforts of Delgado's Maritime Advisory Board, the Louisiana Department of Labor and Delgado's Community Outreach staff, the simulator project was envisioned as an efficient and exciting method of training for our region." Circle 1 on Reader Service Card
Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Australian Defence Minister Says Would Not Trust Submarine Firm to Build Canoe

Australia's defence minister has said he would not trust state-owned Australian Submarine Corp (ASC) "to build a canoe", fuelling expectations that most work in

Matson Raises Guam, Micronesia Rates

Matson, Inc., a U.S. carrier in the Pacific, announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. will raise its rates for the company's Guam/Commonwealth of the

Norwegian Buys Ship from Princess Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces fleet expansion for Oceania Cruises in 2016; Sirena to join sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica   Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.


New Training for Man Overboard Response

Falling overboard is a life-threatening emergency, not only for the person in question but also for those involved in their rescue. Every step in the rescue process

Gazprom Transgaz Ufa Organizes Arts Festival

Over 200 healthy children and children with disabilities from Bashkortostan as well as the Volga Region participated in the Breaking the Barriers second interregional children’s arts festival,

Everett College to Launch New Research Boat

Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) will launch its new research vesel on November 22 with a celebration at 11 a.m. at the Port of Everett.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1472 sec (7 req/sec)