College provides ship simulation for cruise industry

The cruise industry is set to benefit from integrated ship simulation training for the very first time thanks to North East college. South Tyneside College is developing new software in conjunction with Kongsberg Maritime which will allow a live connection between the engine room and the bridge in a simulated cruise vessel.

This will enable engineers and bridge staff from cruise ships to be trained together in live realistic exercises so that they can experience the implications of their actions in a safe environment.

As well as offering financial benefits from insurance savings, the integrated courses can vastly improve communication and understanding between the bridge and engine room and allow ship personnel to operate more effectively as one team.

Chris Thompson, Head of Marine Simulation at South Tyneside College, said: "This new software will revolutionise operational training for the cruise industry. Although training programmes already exist for bridge and engine room cruise vessels separately, there really is no substitute for training exercises which simulate a real-life situation in real-time with the entire ship's staff working together.

"Hopefully this will have a tangible financial impact for the sector, as well as reducing the number of accidents and incidents at sea."

The ship simulation training should be available for the cruise industry from March 2008. To find out more, visit the South Tyneside College website at www.stc.ac.uk.

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