College’s Multi £Million Upgrade Complete

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South Tyneside College’s reputation as a world-leading marine training centre is set to be further enhanced after the completion of a major £1.5million upgrade to its state-of-the-art simulation facilities. At its core is a full-mission bridge projection system which includes Kongsberg K-Line type consoles, complemented by new full-mission engine room consoles, which include touch screen control and Kongsberg Big-View software.

There is also a new 8-bridge Kongsberg desktop bridge simulation suite, integrated to VTS, and a digital CCTV recording and playback system operating throughout which will allow staff to monitor the non-technical skills of students.

South Tyneside College's Upgrade Complete Picture 1

The development has been welcomed by Gary Hindmarch, deputy principal – maritime & higher education, who said: “Demand for marine simulation training has continued apace and it is vital our facilities are the best anywhere in the world, they are class-leading. All ranks of maritime personnel train at the college, from cadets to officers, masters and pilots. in the safety of a simulated environment, they experience emergencies and develop the skills they need to build a broad range of knowledge. For many years the college has played a very significant role in simulation training and is renowned as a market leader, delivering specialist training to organisations in the UK and around the world. We have overhauled every aspect of our simulation system’s performance and capabilities to enable us to continue to meet all future training needs and demands in a highly specialist, global marketplace.”

College’s Multi £million Upgrade Complete Picture 2

A key part of the overhaul is the installation of multiple cameras and microphones on to bridges as part of the marine school’s response to growing demands for training which addresses human actions and behaviours through Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM). It is designed to reduce accidents and improve crew performance by studying skills such as team working, leadership, situational awareness, decision making and communication i.e. what is said and implied through body language and gestures.

The college has installed 30 cameras and eight microphones in bridges and engine spaces to record what is said and by whom throughout each exercise, with results utilised by an instructor on advanced recording and playback software.

Further investment, with partner Safety Technology, will see the opening of a climbing tower at its Marine Safety Training Centre (MSTC) – based by the river Tyne in South Shields – which will allow working at height to those aiming to work in the offshore wind market. It will be a tremendous addition to the centre’s existing facilities which include an environmental pool used for survival training, an eight-seat helicopter escape module, and offshore platform boat transfer simulator.

College’s Multi £million Upgrade Complete Picture 3

The centre, one of the foremost safety training facilities in the UK, is used by hundreds of organisations around the world. Courses utilise extensiveand unique facilities in offshore safety training and include Europe’s first offshore platform boat transfer simulator. The Marine School has also launched courses in ice navigation, designed to prepare maritime personnel for the introduction of the Polar Code in 2014 when there will be requirements for an Ice Navigator to navigate in ice conditions.

Overall, the college has spent £3.2million upgrading its maritime facilities in South Shields.

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