SeaWays Global has signed a long-term partnering agreement with The United States Maritime Resource Center (USMRC). According to the partnership, SeaWays Global will deliver its world class tug master and pilot training, tugboat simulation, auditing and assessment services at USMRC’s maritime simulation centre  near Newport, Rhode Island, US.

New TUg Trsining Capt Neil Sadler, managing director for the Seaways Global Americas region, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for both SeaWays Global and USMRC and will be the first training facility in the USA to be fitted out and ready to deliver our broad range of industry-renowned and Class-approved services to the wider Americas market.”

Sadler and Capt Steve Sandy, SeaWays Global’s travelled to Rhode Island in October to see and test USMRC’s new 360 degree tug simulators, which all run using the latest Wärtsilä (formerly Transas) NTPro software. Sadler said: “USMRC are the perfect fit for our venture into the American towage marketplace as they already have a truly global recognition for delivering industry-leading tutorage to the maritime sector that fully prepares students for a career at sea”.

Sandy added: “The SeaWays Global course programmes offer tug masters and pilots a far better understanding of what goes on below the water – as well as what we all see happening on the surface. In addition to practical, hands-on training, we  also offer our clients access to our e-Learning portal, which helps to plug any gaps that our course attendees may have in their theoretical knowledge of towage operations.”

USMRC president Brian Holden said: “This will be the first time that such highly regarded, formalised, tug simulation training and assessment programmes will be delivered in the USA. Courses are geared to all experience levels and are quite intense, but they produce great results. The SeaWays Global programmes are the best we’ve seen and the only such offering that is accredited and endorsed by a leading classification society.”

An independent, nonprofit marine operations and maritime risk research centre, education and training institute, USMRC focuses on navigation and operational safety; maritime risk mitigation; human capital development; raising awareness of international shipping maritime trade and transport; and contributing to environmental stewardship. The centre’s two new tug bridge simulators – with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) controls and 360 degrees of computer-generated visuals –produce a simulation experience that very closely represents ‘real world’ operations.  The simulation system’s tug modelling and manoeuvring capabilities enable USMRC to accurately depict some of the more advanced ASD tug (often known as tractor tugs in the US) ship assist and complex tethered escort operations. “Wärtsilä has really stepped up their game in this area, particularly in the past few years,” said Rick Comeau, USMRC’s vice president for simulation training and research.

For decades, USMRC has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for being a leader in preparing competent mariners to serve at sea.  “Through our new partnership with SeaWays Global, we are now able to bring top-notch tug training and assessment to the USA that produces unmatched outcomes for companies that desire even higher competency standards, combined with greatly improved levels of efficiency and consistency in operations across their fleet,” Comeau said.

USMRC and SeaWays Global also share a unique approach in the professional development of mariners in that both organisations effectively blend classroom, simulation and on-the-water learning experiences to create a more skilled mariner.

Holden explained: “Each of these learning platforms provides complementary strengths when it comes to creating effective outcomes. The USMRC and SeaWays Global team will have the capability to offer all three.”

In addition to raising the bar for the mariner workforce, companies that have invested in SeaWays Global world class tug master and pilot training, tugboat simulation, auditing and assessment services have also realised some notable valued added benefits.  These include tug operations that are safer, impart less wear and tear on critical propulsion systems and use less fuel with a corresponding decrease in emissions. “The training easily pays for itself,” said Holden. “We are very excited to bring this tremendous resource to the USA.”

SeaWays Global currently has partnerships with a number of established training facilities around the world. Its tug master training programmes have been specifically designed to train the subconscious mind and develop muscle memory, to ensure that individuals react instinctively to deliver the required, safe outcomes.


Sadler concluded: “Our courses are delivered to a defined and Class-accredited, standard and all assessments are non-subjectively assessed. This is what makes us unique and why our certification is held in such high regard around the world.

“The relationship that we now have with USMRC will allow us to share and promote these standards with the US towage industry, with the aim of mitigating risk, decreasing onboard maintenance and fuel costs, while increasing professional competencies.

“Together USMRC and SeaWays Global will aim to deliver high-end training within a globally recognised facility – using the very best, cutting-edge, maritime simulation software provided by Transas/Wärtsilä.”


PB Towage consider SeaWays Tug Master training a significant competitive advantage, the same objective competency based standard delivering optimal safety and efficiency outcomes across their growing fleet. While the towage industry is seeing the power of tugs go up around the coast, it is not just bollard pull that Marine Pilots are looking for. Quality training, in particular of the Tug Master in conjunction with the Pilot is the key to the effective use of a modern, omni-directional tug.

It normally takes in the order of three months to train a new Tug Master. Even if you have a good training system, the cost of “live” training is prohibitive taking wages, fuel, weather and opportunity into account. The ability to replicate maneuvers in an advanced, well calibrated simulator, configured for specific port and vessel condition, allows the trainee to achieve the required level of competency in a fraction of the time.

Full mission simulation is the future of Tug Master Training and PB Towage recognise SeaWays as an international leader in the field.

Tony Cousins

Managing Director, PB Towage

The course content, structure and materials is all a credit to Seaways and the facility for the course is just fantastic.

The trainers experience and professionalism is unequaled and their complete understanding of our requirements at Barrow Island made the training so much easier.

I found the structure of the training very easy to understand with more hands on training than sitting in the class room, I for one adapted well to this environment.

Each trainer took time to ensure we fully understood each maneuver and spent extra time with us when required and allowed us free time alone to hone our skills on the controls, we all found this very beneficial.

A special mention must go to Steve Sandy, I can’t speak highly enough of this guy, his presentation and explanations of each section of the course was extremely easy to follow and watching him operate the tug controls was just incredible. He is quite a remarkable chap and an excellent trainer and of course his easy going nature makes him very approachable.

I highly recommend this training to all new and used tug Masters and would urge all Tug owners to put their Masters forward for this training.

Steve Linton

Tug Master OMSA

“The seaways training course modules one and two is without doubt the most frustrating but yet rewarding courses I have attended.

I found an excellent balance between theory and practical. The training was delivered by a number of professional, dedicated and enthusiastic instructors, each of them leaders in the field of ASD and Harbour towage.

The training had a strong focus on ASD/Towage safety and provides you with the tools to respond positively to emergency situations”

Steve Wall

OMSA Tugmaster on Chevron’s Gorgon Project

I completed my Azimuth training with Seaways and cannot thank Arie enough for the knowledge he passed to me at that time.

Not only did we complete the hands on ASD training but covered aspects of professional development that still assist me in everyday operations.

We covered items like our company safety management system, which was still in its infancy, crew and client management, personnel management and of course the mantra of Authority, Control and Finesse.

I still refer to my training almost daily and always have my training manual at hand. I would highly recommend the Seaways training to any of my officers or anyone who was serious about becoming a professional ASD Tugmaster.

Capt Jayne Hogarth FITA

Master “Mermaid Sound”

For anyone who has not had this brilliant training package, then I suggest you contact your Company and ask if this package could be made available to you, the booklets on the Modules alone are worth their weight in gold and something that you can refer to at anytime you like, like we say, you can never stop learning.

There are three principles that Seaways drum into you and if you remember them you will not go far wrong, they are as follows:- Authority, Total Control and Finesse. So once you have mastered the rudiments of the Training package you will drive with AUTHORITY, have TOTAL CONTROL of the VESSEL and the Situation and with that YOU will drive with FINESSE, what a lovely feeling and your Crew will feel safe as well, that’s all we/they want, to know they come and go home from work safely and Seaways Training does this by the bucket load.

Ps:- Happy Tugging.

Capt. Alan Preston

Serco Tugmaster