West Nautical hosts bespoke bridge and engine room Command and Control crew training course at South Shields Marine School

From 16–18th February 2021, West Nautical, in partnership with Kate Gillespie and the South Shields Marine School, hosted a Covid-19 safe bespoke “Command and Control” course to a team of 9 delegates from the same new build Motor Yacht. The delegates consisted of a 3-person engineering team and a 6-person bridge team made up of 2 captains, 2 chief officers and 2 OOW’s.

Utilising South Shields Marine School’s 360-degree bridge simulator and two-story full mission engine simulator. The emergency scenarios were based on a virtual vessel with representative equipment to replicate that which will be found on board the delegates vessel. The bridge and engine simulators can operate independently or be connected in order to run emergency scenario training as it would be on board a vessel. The West Nautical team utilised both options during the course.

Bespoke Training

This was a fully customised course commissioned to West Nautical by Captain Stuart Frize. He had attended the Command and Control course previously, for the officers of his vessel which is due to be delivered in the Spring. Captain Frize said “The West Nautical Command and Control course is unique amongst simulator courses that I have attended. In 3-days we are able to breakdown, build and fine tune our emergency procedures and abilities. The post drill debriefs involving video, voice and data analysis is crucial for Officers and Engineers to gain a new perspective on their strengths and flaws. The immediate lessons learned and improvement to their confidence and abilities is remarkable. I highly recommend this course to other new build and Operational Captains.”

Training can go ahead despite Covid

This course goes to show that even during the global crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, some employers and shipping companies continue to invest in training their seafarers. West Nautical and the South Shields Marine School were delighted to deliver this bespoke course following the strict protocols to ensure all personnel involved were safe.

Over the 3-days, the delegates were put through a wide range of scenarios. The aim was to improve emergency responses, communication and resource management, as well as implement their new ISM systems which are still in their development stages. These scenarios were designed by West Nautical in order to provide invaluable training in a realistic environment. Scenarios included collision, fire, flooding, abandon ship, medical emergencies, piracy, equipment and engine failure. All whilst “navigating” in very busy shipping lanes such as the English Channel, Singapore and Kattegat Straits.

The delegates varied in experience. Some of them had not been at sea for over 18-months as they had been in the shipyard overseeing the new build. Not having worked together previously, the course gave the officers the opportunity to build relationships under the most stressful of environments.

A success?

After each exercise was completed, the delegates gather in a classroom for a detailed de-brief. This included video playbacks of the scenario and step-by-step analysis of actions taken which either improved or heightened the scenario. Geoff Moore, West Nautical managing director said: “After running similar courses to this over the past 6 years, we realise that the real learning is done in the debrief, not during the exercises. We have seen time and again the huge improvements in human response and behaviour from delegates after we openly discuss what went wrong, what went well and what they learnt whilst alongside their peers”.

For further information about West Nautical’s Command and Control course or to sign up for the next course contact training@westnautical.com

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