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  • 27/03/2018 12:00 PM

    Marine pilots recreate Sydney in state-of-the-art shipping simulator

    The best place to learn how to pilot a 300-metre ship through the busy waterways of Sydney Harbour is a lot further from the water than you’d think. In fact, the best place is in a room somewhere near Brisbane Airport.

    Marine pilots are highly skilled and experienced mariners who transfer to large ships to help them safely navigate and manoeuvre their way through the channels of ports and harbours.

    Marine pilot takes control of the simulator

    Image: A Sydney marine pilot takes control of the simulator

    But taking control of a huge and unfamiliar ship and helping steer it safely to shore takes a steady hand, years of practice and a deep understanding of the local infrastructure and environment.

    That’s why a team of Port Authority’s Sydney marine pilots made their way to Queensland to take part in a training exercise at Smartship: a state-of-the-art shipping simulator that recreates the world’s busiest ports and harbours.

    SmartShip Australia is a world-class simulation centre that allows maritime professionals to train and hone their skills in a safe environment so they’re ready for the real thing out on the water.

    It features a full replica of a ship’s bridge, complete with control panels and communication equipment, with sweeping 360-degree views of accurate computer-generated harbours and waterways.

    Pilot training

    Image: Simulations are managed and monitored from the control room

    On this visit to the simulation centre, our team of pilots recreated and trained for an imagined emergency scenario whilst transiting to Gore Cove in Sydney Harbour.

    Whether it’s for new recruits or experienced pilots, Port Authority regularly sends its marine pilots to the SmartShip simulator to learn new skills and develop their existing ones. In the simulator environment they are able to practice and train for a wide range of different events and situations that would be impossible to recreate in real life.

    The technology allows us to create realistic simulations so our pilots can test and refine our operational and emergency procedures to ensure we continue to keep the people, ships and environments in our ports safe from harm.