Starlight Marine Services has implemented a successful training program in the Tractor Tug Simulator at the California Maritime Academy. Since January, California Maritime Academy and Starlight Marine Services have joined forces and worked hard to develop a Tractor Tug Simulator Program using their newly constructed Simulator Center. It has been the goal of Starlight Marine Services to develop a Simulation Program that would encompass Crisis Management, Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Tug Escort Maneuvering to allow them to evaluate and train their Captains in real time scenarios just as they might encounter on the job and in time of extremis. With a focus on San Francisco Bay areas of operation, along with the ability to integrate the Tug Wheelhouse Simulator with the Ship’s Bridge Simulator, there is no question that the goal of developing a realistic and challenging operating environment has been achieved.
At this point, a total of 8 Starlight Captains have completed the program during two sessions at California Maritime Academy. During each session, an Operations Team Meeting begins the scenario, which is then followed by a half hour of orientation time for the Captains with the Tug Simulator itself. Once the Captains are comfortable with their settings and the simulator operator is ready to go, the Captains are briefed on the first scenario. One Captain enters the Simulator at a time and completes the scenario. A total of five scenarios have been developed for the Captains to simulate.
After working through the scenarios with each Captain, management at Starlight Marine Services is very pleased with the results. It is clear they have developed a program that challenges their Captains as well as instructors and opens the door to a high level of communication and education for both parties.
Keeping in mind the challenges faced day to day by Starlight operators, this method of training is proving itself as the right tool to enter into times of extremis without increasing risk to the crew and equipment. Over the next couple of months, it is the plan of Starlight Marine Services to focus and work with each local operator to evaluate and train on these scenarios.