Ship handling with simulator

14. January 2022

- There is no damage costs if you bump into another boat or drive ashore.

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Fleet commander Tommy Lian is testing the new training offer for skippers and helmsmen in FFS.

Text and photos: Sveinung W. Jensen, Tellus Communication

The fleet commander in FFS, Tommy Lian, is sitting behind the levers and maneuvering FFS Athos out of Lundevagen. With a large drilling rig lying in the middle of the lease and a cruise ship moored on the municipal quay, the passage is narrow. A little bad weather and the skipper really would have gotten a ride.

Fortunately, this is not for real. Because Tommy is not on board the tugboat. He is sitting in an office in Strandgaten in Farsund and simulating sitting on the bridge steering.

- THROUGH THIS the simulator, we can train our people for various escort assignments and test several elements, says Tommy.

Except from the fact that you sit an office on land and look into three computer screens instead of being at sea, most things are the same. The boats' different properties and propeller systems are precisely loaded, which means that for example FFS Athos and FFS Amaranth respond differently when you move the levers.

BATYMETRY, that is, the "terrain" at sea is also the same as in reality.

- We can make a little trouble for the skippers by putting on fog and wind, stopping the engines or driving in foreign vessels and other stressful elements. The whole point is to test the skippers in difficult situations, says Tommy.

After seven years as captain at the tugboat company BOA, he returned to FFS this autumn as fleet commander. Among his tasks is to conduct internal training on the simulator.

- This will be a training offer both for experienced skippers and helmsmen, and for seamen internally who want to take the step up. We want to recruit officers from our own ranks. For this purpose the simulator is a very good tool. You do not get closer to reality. And if you make a mistake here, it will have no economical consequences, says Tommy.

THE FEEDBACK internally is so far positive. No wonder maybe. For who would not want to play computer games at work.

- Yes, this is our FIFA game, Tommy laughs, but quickly adds:

- The market demands more and more, and maintenance of competence is important. We hope that we can regularly gather captains and helmsmen around the simulator and share experiences.

Presentation

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