Wednesday, September 18, 2019

New Maritime Simulator Officially Gets Under Way

Branson Tests Out New Technology
Shipping News Feature

UK – Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, officially opened the Maritime Skills Academy (MSA) Solent’s new Simulator Centre on Sunday 15 September, along with Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin. During the visit, the famed entrepreneur tested the simulators for himself and met some of the Crew who will be sailing and training at the centre for Virgin Voyages.

The Viking Maritime Group have worked in conjunction with Virgin Voyages and the passenger industry to build and create, what the MSA says is, one of the most prestigious and modern, forward thinking simulation centres in the world.

On the South Coast of the UK, the Maritime Skills Academy have developed two training centres, one for safety training in Dover, Kent and most recently one for simulator training in Portsmouth, Hampshire. The MSA Solent provides the Virgin Voyages Crew with a fresh and culturally-attuned environment and is where over the coming years, the company’s crew will train and enhance in their skills running through Bridge Resource Management, Ship Handling, ECDIS, Engine Room Management, High Voltage and many other courses created in line with Virgin Voyages’ procedures.

The purpose-built, state-of-the-art MSA Solent centre is a commercial training centre featuring a fully integrated Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum system within the full mission bridge simulator and associated course provision, including full vision bridge wings and interactive tactical tables. The simulation facilities have been created in partnership with global maritime simulation leaders, Wärtsilä.

The key sector focus for clients at MSA Solent will be the passenger industries (cruise, superyacht and passenger ferries) which have increased the call for more simulator training. Major customers who are already looking to train at the facility include Windstar Cruises, Marella, V-Ships, DFDS, and Port of Dover.

MSA Dover will also see the Virgin Voyages Crew from around Europe visiting as Viking Maritime Group were selected as the sole provider of all basic, advanced and updating STCW safety training courses. The centre houses an environmental survival pool, fire training centre with a command & Control module, lifeboat centre and engineering workshops.

New to the MSA Dover, is the UK’s first commercial Command & Control Safety centre and Damage Control modules. Operational exercises in fire training using the safety centre mirror on board passenger scenarios and techniques. The Damage modules are where crew are put through their paces in a stark and challenging environment to repair leaks, splits and learn the practical and theoretical ways to reduce water ingress.

Photo: Left to Right – MSA Managing Director Matthew Jaenicke, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, and Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin.