This article by Sandeep Patil, Maritime New Zealand Senior Advisor (Training & Exercise), appeared in the Maritime New Zealand internal magazine.
Training, learning, and networking opportunities kept the Marine Pollution and Response Services’ (MPRS) Training and Exercise team busy in Nelson.
The team delivered back-to-back regional and senior regional responder courses in Nelson. This was the second time the team had gone to the South Island to deliver these courses, which are normally offered at the MPRS facility in Auckland.
More than half the attendees were residents of the South Island, the majority hailing from the nearby Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough regions. Three staff from Maritime New Zealand also joined the senior responder training course, making up a total of 35 responders completing training over the five days.
Help from our response partners made it possible for us to provide the training in Nelson. The local harbourmaster team provided their vessel, Nelson Sailing Club, Port of Nelson and Nelson Coastguard each provided venues for parts of the training, and staff at Nelson and Tasman Councils, including local regional on-scene commanders, also helped with the training.
We also benefited from some excellent science input from the Maritime New Zealand environment team as well as support from technical services staff preparing equipment to round out the course content.
On Thursday afternoon, Sandeep Patil organised a visit for Maritime New Zealand staff to his old stomping ground at NMIT | Te Pūkenga. They got to experience the state-of-the-art (Level 5) bridge simulator used by the team at the International Maritime Institute of New Zealand (IMINZ).
The simulator uses actual incident data, including sea conditions, vessel position, and nature of distress, to re-run and test emergency procedures. This provides an incredibly realistic and a thrilling experience of being at the bridge on a vessel in major distress (in our scenario at least), being aboard one of two harbour tugs sent to assist in some very rough sea.
A big thanks to the team at NMIT for offering a great potential tool to train our own maritime incident responders.
All in all, it was a productive week with key response partners and our keen group of 35 newly trained responders from around the country.
Training & Exercises Team, Marine Pollution Response Services, Maritime New Zealand