‘World’s best’ ship simulator

‘World’s best’ ship simulator

Budding maritime officers can now test themselves at a ship’s helm in all weather conditions and in ports throughout New Zealand and worldwide – without leaving the safety of a training room at NMIT.

Head of NMIT’s maritime department Monique Day says the institute now has the world’s best bridge simulator installed in its marine training department in Nelson.

The simulator will feel like a real bridge with the ability to place and navigate a ship in Nelson, Picton, the Marlborough Sounds, Auckland, Wellington and many overseas ports, says Monique Day. 

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David Duncan, Nelson Harbour Master

NMIT’s “significant investment” was demonstrated at a function last night (October 12) attended by Nelson Harbour Master David Duncan, and representatives from the local fishing industry, Cook Strait ferries, Maritime New Zealand and Silver Fern Shipping.

They saw a live demonstration of a vessel being piloted into Nelson Harbour with interaction from the tug boat crew.

Monique Day says the bridge simulator, linked with an existing engine room simulator, is the only system of its type in the country and “gives NMIT a big advantage as a training institute”. 

The new equipment, from Norwegian company Kongsberg, will enable NMIT’s International Maritime Institute of New Zealand to not only train fishing boat mates and skippers but also harbour pilots around New Zealand and deck watch officers on merchant ships and superyachts.

“We can model these harbours to create numerous scenarios to assess a student’s knowledge of collision regulations, ship handling and pilotage in a variety of weather and tidal conditions,” says Monique.

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Konsburg bridge simulator

The simulator will realistically create a 270-degree view from the virtual bridge of wharves and main navigational hazards including other vessels, from yachts to tugs, cruise ships and large container ships.

Monique Day says the simulator can represent 20 different vessel types and is equipped with instruments and controls that enable realistic vessel handling. 

Wide screens in front of the student “skipper” will give a real-world view of what they face. “We’ll be able to throw challenging and dangerous scenarios in front of them and see how they respond.”

The Class A bridge simulator included in the new technology is the best that can be bought worldwide, she says. She says existing simulator space will be almost doubled to create three ship bridges which operate in the same virtual port environment.

This opens the opportunity to offer pilot and tug training where pilots can log hours in the simulator towards maintaining their certification.

Find out more about starting, or furthering, your career in Maritime with NMIT.

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