Maneuvering trials and Shiphandling training for Guayanilla, Puerto Rico Masters, Pilots and tug Masters were conducted at MarineSafety International's Newport Simulator Center April 17 - 20 and July 5 - 7, 2000. The port of Guayanilla was modeled, including a new LNG terminal to accommodate large, deep draft ships entering the port for the first time. The objectives of the trials were to give the mariners an opportunity to gain experience handling large LNG ships in their restricted harbor. Docking operations were conducted as well at the new LNG facility. Safety margins were assessed under challenging wind conditions and with different tug configurations. The adequacy of current aids to navigation were evaluated and discussions held to determine appropriate maneuvers that would minimize the risk of accidents in the event of critical equipment failures.
The maneuvering trials were attended by Captain Peter Zaal, the Master of MATTHEW, a 125,000 cu. m. LNG tanker owned by Cabot LNG Corporation. Also in attendance were Guayanilla Pilots Captains Alex Cruz Hernandez, Jose Padilla and Daniel Montes. Tug Masters Hiram Padilla, Pedro Rivera and Cees Van Wijk also attended. Robert J. Lakey, of Robert J. Lakey Associates, the chief advisor for the LNG terminal project
, called the simulation "one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in this business" and hoped the course would set a new standard of preparation for planning new LNG ports. Captain Hernandez said: "We tested it, we did it, and it was a big success".