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  • 22/05/2018 12:20 PM

    World-class training for Newcastle marine pilots

    On a visit to Launceston’s world-class maritime training centre, a team of marine pilots learn it’s not just technology that helps them protect our ports, it’s the human factor.

    Marine pilots from Port Authority of NSW's Newcastle team headed to Tasmania this month to train in one of the most advanced maritime simulators in the world.

    The simulator at AMC Search in Launceston is a key part of the marine pilot training program. It allows the marine pilots at Port Authority to develop and maintain their skills of bringing large ocean-going vessels safely in and out of port.

    AMC search shipping simulator
    Image: At the helm in the cutting-edge AMC Search shipping simulator

    The system features a full-scale of recreation of a ship’s bridge complete with the instruments required for navigation and maneuvering, and surrounded by a computer-generated projection of some of Australia’s most well-known ports.

    AMC Search provides training and consulting to the maritime industry and is based at the Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania in Launceston. The visit put the Newcastle marine pilots through simulated scenarios that tested their performance, response and technical abilities.

    However, another important aspect of the marine pilot’s role is human interaction, especially when integrating themselves with an unfamiliar bridge team of a visiting ship.

    To bring ships in safely, pilots have to confidently convey a technically complex message to a group of individuals they may never have met before, who might not share the same primary language and in a port that they may have never been to before.

    Professor Benjamin Brooks from the University of Tasmania, a specialist in human performance management in the maritime industry, visited the group to talk about how marine pilots can continue to build social capital in the challenging and demanding environment they work in.

    It takes approximately two-and-a-half years to train as a marine pilot. The pilots at Port Authority use the AMC simulator extensively in the years it takes them to receive their license — as required by the NSW Marine Pilotage Code — and continue using the technology throughout their career to continually improve their operational safety in the port.

    Find out more about the role of a marine pilot