Training: New Innovations Being Driven by the Ferry Industry
The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association’s conference on Ferry Safety and Technology, underway today, has featured sessions on Vessels & Landings, Marine Weather, and Training Challenges and Innovative Solutions.
The panel on Training, moderated by Captain Jim DeSimone from the New York City Department of Transportation, included talks by Murray Goldberg (Marine Learning Systems) and Bill Anderson, Jr. from the Seattle-based Pacific Marine Institute (PMI).
Goldberg spoke about success at BC Ferries in implementing an e-Learning program. According to Goldberg, research across many industries has shown that a combination of e-Learning, combined with a personal touch, is a far superior mode of training. In the case of BC Ferries, its three-stage “SailSafe” program – developed from scratch because the maritime business has generally been late to the e-learning party – Goldberg suggests that ancillary benefits (for example- reduced injuries, and increased timeliness) are accrued, beyond the primary benefit of safety.
Seperately, Mr. Anderson described MITAG’s highly successful Navigation Skills Assessment Program (NSAP), which provides objective assessments of deck officers’ capabilities, and also explained that a comparable program is now being developed for engine room officers. He highlighted efforts in the Ferry sector of the market, where a simulation could be built for a specific vessel in specific area. He mentioned work for the Staten Island Ferry (which is headed up by Captain DeSimone), and for Victoria, BC, where operational guidelines were created for vessels that would be operating in the area. Unlike many other simulation training operators, MITAGS actually builds the models – rather than taking the models provided by the simulator vendor. Anderson urged the industry to think about simulations and training holistically, rather than in a stove-piped manner. The latter method is largely driving by regulation. But, he asks, is this the best way to drive safety?
The Worldwide Ferry Safety Association’s conference on Ferry Safety and Technology continues tomorrow at the historic Pier A Harbor House in downtown Manhattan. As in 2015, the conference has brought together ferry operators, city planners, vessel designers, and weather experts, and many more members of the world's maritime community. With an expanded program of panels and hands-on demonstrations over two days, with speakers from around the globe, it is already being hailed as a success.
It is not too late to attend. Student rates are available. You can register by clicking: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-2016-ferry-safety-and-technology-conference-tickets-19731270762