Captain Tom Jacobsen, President of Jacobsen Pilot Services, Inc., a long-time provider of pilotage for the Port of Long Beach, announced that Long Beach Pilots would be attending a training course at MarineSafety International (MSI) in San Diego. The four-day course is designed to combine an opportunity for the Pilots to review the principles of Bridge Resource Management (BRM) and to sharpen their skills in working with new types of tugs an advanced towing strategies.
Captain Vic Schisler
, an active Long Beach Pilot, will instruct the course. Principles learned such as clear pilot-to-tug communications, team planning and coordinated execution, will be practiced throughout the four days. Captain Schisler has long been recognized as an expert ship handler and innovator when using assist tugs.
The pilots will practice a new concept in escorting large displacement vessels using relatively small tractor tugs in tandem. This concept, known as Team Towing, has been tested and refined during escort missions in Long Beach by Captain Schisler. The Team Towing technique was found to reduce off-track error in the case of rudder failures and to shorten these errors compared to utilizing single escorts. Team Towing also allows for a more evenly distributed amount of bollard pull on a vessel's mooring bitts, as the escorting tugs generally use opposing bitts on a vessel's transom, rather than concentrating great amounts of force on one set of bitts.
According to Captain Schisler, the three-bridge simulator arrangement at MSI San Diego is ideal for practicing this technique. It permits the pilot on the simulated escorted vessel to communicate with skippers operating two simulated tugs. All participants experience the interactive forces produced by the ship's speed and the vector tug forces.