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.
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.”