!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Training Lifeboat Crews

Friday, September 28, 2007

Training Lifeboat Crews

Lifeboat Launching Simulator
(Source: Virtual Marine Technology)

In May Virtual Marine Technology (VMT) was named a runner-up in the Safety at Sea category of the 2007 Seatrade Awards. Organized by the UK-based Seatrade Communications, Ltd., the Seatrade Awards are aimed at "helping to stimulate and encourage technical innovation in the shipping industry by giving recognition to those companies and individuals that make substantial contributions." The Safety at Sea category covers "significant technical or procedural improvements leading to reduction of risk to human life."

VMT, headquartered in St. John's, Newfoundland, was recognized for its Lifeboat Launching Simulator. The substantial value of the simulator lies in providing unlimited practice on operating a lifeboat in dangerous sea conditions without actually putting trainees at risk. Trainees learn about:
  • Vessel controls

  • Launching and sail away procedures, including pre-launch check of all equipment

  • Radio communications

  • Lowering and release of the lifeboat

  • Lifeboat performance in high seas

  • How to respond to faults and equipment failures

  • How to handle the lifeboat in high-sea states and reduced visibility
The simulator's instructor station enables:
  • Scenario creation

  • Logging and playback of trainee performance

  • Control of environmental conditions — sea state, time of day, and visibility

  • Equipment fault insertion

  • Radio communication with the trainee

  • 3D fly-by view of the simulated environment
The trainee station provides:
  • A physical mockup with actual vessel equipment, including steering wheels, throttles, compass, break release, hook release, battery and ignition

  • Accurate mathematical modeling of vessel motion in 6 degrees of freedom (surge, sway, heave, roll, pitch and yaw)

  • A 270ยบ visual system

  • Modeling of harsh environments, including high sea states (up to Beaufort 10-11) and reduced visibility

  • Detailed 3D models of vessels, landscapes, and launching platforms

  • A surround sound system that projects lifeboat sounds at realistic decibel levels
Key to the simulator's effectiveness is the level of realism it achieves through detailed modeling of vessel and wave motion. Trainees are immersed in an environment that they perceive very much as they would comparable real-world conditions.