I have just returned from taking the advanced radar errors course at your facility. This course is a must for any pilot using parallel indexing and radar use in their everyday work. After 15 years of piloting and over 25 years navigating vessels in confined waters I was surprised at what I did not know about using radars.
This place is definately among the top maritime simulation centres in the world.
For several years now, the Port of Halifax has been preparing for the arrival of large containerized cargo vessels over 10,000 TEU. Preparing existing infrastructure is critical; equally important is working with our marine support services team to ensure the hard-working men and women of our port community have the necessary training to safely navigate and handle these large vessels. Marine Simulation and Rescue Centre has gone above and beyond in terms of developing and delivering a comprehensive training and simulation course that not only meets, but exceeds expectations.
The accurate ship models developed by MSRC and high level of professionalism of the instructors and facilitators is second to none. The knowledge and experience shown by the staff at MSRC result in a world-class simulation experience.
Port Saint John is presently conducting an expansion and modernization of its container terminal. Through the project’s design engineers, Dillon Consulting and Hatch, a detailed feasibility analysis was undertaken at MSRC with respect to the design ship – a Neo-Panamax container ship.
As noted by MSRC, the extreme tidal range and river outflow produces complex currents within the port. Given the size of the design ship, it was imperative that 3D currents be accurately introduced into the port database in order to provide realistic simulation outcomes. The team at MSRC handled this complex task (with FVCOM model from Baird) with ease. The model worked flawlessly.
In addition to the technical accuracy of the model, the entire team at MSRC provided an exceptionally high level of service throughout the project. A new standard of simulations for our Port has now been set by MSRC.
The Port of Halifax in partnership with the Atlantic Pilotage Authority contracted the Marine Simulation and Resource Centre to facilitate a risk analysis for the transit of Post Panamax container vessels in Halifax.
In a relatively short period the MSRC was able to develop a very accurate ship model of the proposed vessels using the detailed information provided by the shipping lines. The Halifax Harbour database was also updated using high-resolution survey data and detailed information of the recent changes to the port infrastructure.
The very accurate models developed by the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre, combined with the professionalism of the Centre’s team and the flawless simulator operation was symbolic of a world-class facility.
Risk Assessment Review of the Second Narrows movement restricted area
In my years as a mariner and as a Pilot since 2001 I have attended many simulation centers for training, risk assessment and project development. My experience at MSRC was the most productive experience so far, due to how flawlessly the simulator operated and the professionalism of the team.
It was easy for me to understand why the Pilot Training and Education Committee for the BC Coast Pilots chose MSRC as the simulation facility that we use to train our apprentice pilots.
MSRC provides world class training in a world-class environment
The MSRC has developed a Neo Panamax containership manoeuvring course for the Houston Pilots that is now approved for our continuing education program. We very much appreciate their forward-thinking and vision in developing this course, which helps us navigate the challenges of these new vessels.
MSRC provides world class training in a world class environment
We have challenges ahead of us. Simulation allows us to practice manoeuvres that we’re going to do in our own channel, which is extremely beneficial. Practicing these manoeuvres to get an idea of what we’ll be faced with makes our jobs safer and easier.
Understanding the capabilities and abilities of the tugs were a key take-away from the course. When I step on the next-generation containership for the first time, I’m going to know I had some really good training at MSRC.
Adaptive Training for Marine Pilots
I would like to thank the entire team that participated in the Emergency Measures training in November 2018. This training was perfectly adapted to our operational needs and realities and fits very well into our competency maintenance program for our pilots. The training team is professional, experienced and adapts quickly to last minute adjustments. Our pilotage team, which includes pilots and tugboat captains, were able to exchange and discuss the various manoeuvres and all came out with a better collective understanding and… some “extra tools in their toolbox”.
I highly recommend this type of training to all pilot groups!
Canadian Transportation Research Forum Annual Conference
As soon as the program for the 41st Canadian Transportation Research Forum (CTRF) Annual Conference was published, many months before the event was to take place, the list for technical tours started to fill up quickly, in view of the limited number of spots and the high level of interest.
One of the most popular tours was of the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (MSRC) in the Port of Quebec. Most of the delegates who opted for this exceptional opportunity believed that the Centre was publicly funded, or at least a public-private partnership. What a surprise when they found out that the creation of the Centre was a private initiative undertaken and funded single-handedly by the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots to offer state-of-the-art training to an increasingly diversified clientele from around the maritime world.
Visitor testimonials, coming from all areas and every means of transportation used in Quebec, Canada and the United States, were very enlightening. Visiting navigation specialists all agreed that the Centre’s unique, state-of-the-art equipment is an invaluable asset to navigational training and that it should be more widely known and used – not only by pilots, but also by most ship operators.
They all agreed that the Centre is a great addition to the industry and saluted the exemplary effort of the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots in making this remarkable project possible. The Centre’s goal is to consolidate and enhance navigational proficiency by maintaining skills at the highest level of scientific and technical advancement.
MSRC adds the Port of Valleyfield to its Database
During a visit to the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre, the members of the Société du Port de Valleyfield Board took part in ship manoeuvring demonstrations carried out on the Centre’s multidisciplinary navigation simulator.
Our Board members were very impressed by the degree of realism and precision of the simulations, as well as the enthusiasm of the personnel. They also very much appreciated the fact that the MSRC had meticulously designed a database for the Valleyfield Port, thus giving pilots and navigators who might call at our port the opportunity to become acquainted with our wharfs and infrastructure in advance.
The MSRC’s ability to create databases offers an unquestionable advantage to organizations looking to maintain a high level of safety in their port operations.
Port of Montreal Pilot Training
When the Laurentian Pilotage Authority decided that its pilots should take a simulator manoeuvres course to develop their skills, I was asked first to evaluate the training and practical exercises to be given to our pilots. I was pleasantly surprised by the realism of the simulation.
Exercises were prepared by Captain Alain Victor to meet our needs. All our pilots then took turns doing manoeuvres on the simulator. Each and every one of our pilots found the training to be relevant and useful in helping them practise certain tricky manoeuvres that would be difficult to reproduce in a normal work situation.
The Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots’ Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (MSRC) fits our pilots’ further development needs perfectly. Thanks to the talent of the MSRC’s management and teaching staff, as well as its facilities, we have a great guarantee of the expertise we are seeking. We plan on using your services for many years to come.
Study for New Tug
On behalf of the Alcan Rio Tinto Port Facilities, I would like to thank you most enthusiastically for the services you provided to our organization.
The purpose of our request was to validate a bollard pull capacity study with a view to purchasing a new Z-Drive type tug. Our chief constraint was the evaluation of an irregular crosscurrent at the entrance to our port.
Your simulator’s ability to interchange certain parameters (tug power, current, water depth, wind velocity) was very useful. Following a number of tests, with the expert help of your trainer Capt. M.A. Fortin, who by the way is also one of our users, we were able to agree on the minimum requirement for our operations. Following this demonstration, with the MSRC’s report and the video recorded during our simulator tests, it was easy to demonstrate the need for this purchase to our organization while at the same time validating our first study.
I would also like to thank Capt. Alain Victor, Corvette Capt. Étienne Landry and yourself, Mr. Racicot, for the enthusiasm and promptness with which you handled our request.
LNG Tanker Manoeuvres
Since June 2005, six series of manoeuvring simulations using different types of LNG tankers (135,000 to 210,000 m3) have been carried out at the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots’ Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre in Quebec City. The purpose of these simulations was to study and identify the weather conditions and wind and current limits so as to guarantee the safe transit of the Chenal du Nord, and the berthing and departure of these ships at the future Rabaska terminal in Quebec (Lévis).
During these simulations, I witnessed firsthand the quality of the Centre’s facilities, the competence of its technical personnel, the realism of its simulations and the professionalism of its pilots. We were able to evaluate all possible situations, including ones requiring abnormal or emergency manoeuvres. The Centre has continued to develop and expand with the addition of three large simulation cabins designed to test the behaviour and effectiveness of tugs in real-life situations.
The Canadian Naval Reserve utilizes the MSRC navigation simulators to refresh ships officers in coastal navigation, pilotage, anti-collision and manoeuvring under difficult conditions. This world-class installation provides us with the flexibility required to achieve our training needs.
Furthermore, the on-site expertise combined with the vast experience of the staff, allow for the development of scenarios that maximise the training experience. The lessons learned through our use of this simulator could only otherwise be achieved through months at sea in risky environments.
I just got back from Quebec City, where I had the good fortune of taking an all new training course at the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre.
I would like to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciated this training, which was focused mainly on manoeuvring tugs and ships equipped with azipods. Both the course content and the manual designed by Captain Alain Victor were very well prepared and very appropriate. Also, the Federal Asahi ship model, developed chiefly for use by GLPA pilots, is very realistic, and I believe it will be very useful in future.
In conclusion, of all the simulator courses that I have taken during my career, this one was the most practical and instructive.
Saguenay Cruise Ship Wharf
We used the MSRC’s services while designing and constructing a cruise ship wharf in Saguenay. We are currently finishing this major port engineering project, which is expected to be completed by December 2008.
Because of the bathymetry of the project site, we were forced to position the wharf at a difficult angle in relation to the direction of the prevailing winds. As cruise ships are sensitive to the effects of wind, we were concerned about berthing conditions, especially in bad weather when the wind might push the ship against the wharf and pose a threat.
The simulations that the MSRC carried out for us, however, reassured us in this regard and let us know we were on the right track as we pursued our project.
On behalf of my colleagues from the Great Lakes region, I wish to congratulate the Corporation of Lower St-Lawrence Pilots on the excellent work it has done to establish a world-class training facility for pilots and mariners at the MSRC in Quebec City.
As you know, Great Lakes marine pilots have been training at the Centre for many years. Pilots appreciate the opportunity to refine their skills while using leading-edge technology that simulates an array of scenarios that could not otherwise be rehearsed, such as complex ship-handling manoeuvres and emergency procedures.
The Centre has dedicated much time and effort to developing a database that reflects conditions in the Great Lakes region in a very realistic manner, and the transfer of this information to state-of-the-art simulation technology represents unprecedented opportunities for pilot training.
Great Lakes marine pilots are pleased to have the Marine Simulation and Resource Centre as their prime training facility and look forward to further strengthening this partnership in the years ahead.
Towing Solutions Inc. has participated in several training sessions at the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre in Quebec City and has always found the facility and staff to be of exceptional quality. We especially appreciate that the staff is not only largely made up of senior pilots and a few naval officers all of whom have exceptional knowledge of ship handling and advanced navigational skills, but they also are extremely well versed in the operation of the simulator itself.
This later feature is the one that we appreciate the most, as their staff literally has the ability to identify and fix problems when they surface, whereas most other facilities in North and Central America cannot. Needless to say, this capability leads to a much higher customer satisfaction level.
Another significant advantage when working with this facility is their ability to create, in house, very accurate area models which allows them to respond quickly to a customer’s request and by working directly with that customer, provide exactly what they desire.
All in all, this is one of the finest simulation facilities in the world today.
The MSRC has contributed to the achievement of our training objectives and improved the quality of our piloting services.
Since 2005, the Corporation of Mid St. Lawrence Pilots has used the services of the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre to train pilots and apprentices for the St. Lawrence River piloting area between Quebec City and Montreal.
Throughout this partnership, the Centre has taken a very proactive approach, in both its training proposals reflecting the new realities of the maritime industry and its custom-designed training programs for our pilots.
Our two Corporations enjoy a special relationship based on a shared vision of modern, first-rate piloting and supported by the quality of the MSRC’s simulator facilities, its highly qualified simulator instructors and its respect for jointly developed intellectual property and work.
In short, the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre has contributed to the achievement of our training objectives and improved the quality of our piloting services.
The work carried out for Rabaska by the Marine simulation Center and the CPSL was, and continues to be, of inestimable value to the success of our Liquefied Natural Gas Project in Levis. The various simulations run were extremely useful in helping us validate the feasibility, reliability, and safety of the marine portion of our project.
Furthermore, in addition to helping us evaluate and further the design of our marine facilities, the simulations were of great value in communicating or ‘showing’ the project to regulators, both marine (TERMPOL) and environmental (BAPE/CEAA), to the public and other community stakeholders, as well as to our various partners and LNG suppliers.
As we move through construction towards operations, the simulator will again fulfill a vital role, that of training the crews of the LNG carriers and support vessels that will be calling upon our facility.
Having completed the AZIPOD simulation training, the Radar Errors course, and just recently, the ECDIS training at the MRSC, I can honestly say that this training facility is second to none in this field. The instruction is tailored for the professional mariner and in many cases deals directly with circumstances and situations that pilots and masters find themselves faced with on a daily basis.
Thus, the training is very relevant and up to date in our ever-changing environment, which is itself an achievement. Well written course material, very competent instructors and a first-rate simulator combine to allow any mariner, regardless of background or experience, to walk away having learned something valuable.
For any port authority or engineering firm interested in port development, the simulation facility at CSEM represents one of the most comprehensive combinations of equipment, technology and pilotage expertise available in the world.
It is one of very few facilities that can combine three full mission tug bridges and a large ship full mission bridge into a single fully integrated simulation exercise or scenario, allowing the examination of human factors as well as pure manoeuvring/design principles.
Furthermore, its in-house pilotage expertise, coupled with other commercial partnerships, ensures that the majority of practical risk and manoeuvring analysis can be conducted at the preliminary and intermediate levels of port design, presenting clients with a solution that is workable, and that can be fully demonstrated and validated to port authorities and pilotage associations using high fidelity interactive simulations.
Just to convey my personal thanks to you for all your help and considerations during our rather long simulation project. We got through an immense amount of work. I can’t remember having completed so much quality work in such a relatively short time at any other simulator.
Your team were outstanding in their individual contributions to the work at hand, not in only carrying out their practical skills but in the comments, observations and recommendations that they provided throughout. Please convey my sincere thanks to all concerned for being so professional, hospitable and making us feel perfectly at home. This made the project so much easier to complete.
Thanks again for everything, I hope to see you all again in the not-too-distant future at what I consider to be the very best of Ship Simulator centers. I should be happy for you to use me as a reference at any time should you ever require the same, please do not hesitate.
Well done and thank you so much.
I have just attended the Maritime Simulation and Resource Center for the first time with a few of my partners to take the “Error Detection and Use of Advanced Radar Techniques in Restricted Waters.” I was very impressed!! Schools that offer ‘pilots teaching pilots’ have locked on to a great concept.
Hats off to the St. Lawrence Pilots that developed the techniques taught in this course for error detection on the radar. I think it behooves all pilots working in narrow confines to understand these errors.
The best tribute I can offer is to return to the school, which I plan to do this summer for further training.
Even though, as a pilot, I already had all my STCW radar training courses, as well as almost 15 years’ experience working with every type of equipment available on the Amazon River, I decided to take the Error Detection and Use of Advanced Radar Techniques in Restricted Waters course offered by the MSRC as a refresher.
I was very surprised to learn that the instructors are very experienced pilots and that the techniques demonstrated were developed for precise navigation in confined waters.
We benefited from technical views not available in books, and enjoyed direct pilot-to-pilot talk. We were “on the same page,” discussing our experience with the various types of equipment in the light of solid knowledge of the principles behind their operation.
And best of all, we had a top full mission simulator to practise everything on. Precision navigation in low visibility can be improved a lot using the concepts explained in this course. It is a MUST for all pilots!
During 2015 and 2016, the «Société des traversiers du Québec» (STQ) will acquire new technologically advanced ships, thus very different from the technology used on their existing ferries. Consequently, we were looking for a good way to transit from present technology to the newer ones.
MRSC has definitively answered our expectations. They succeeded in recreating on their navigation simulator, and as close as reality as it can be achieved, the navigation environment, the behavior of ships fitted with azimuthal propulsion system and the bridge equipment.
Our officers were unanimous; they were all impressed by the realism of the reproduced environment, developed specifically for their own needs, and by the realism of the ships’ manoeuvres. But what impressed them the most is the MSRC’s staff expertise at all levels. What contributed greatly to the training’s success is the context in which the simulations were carried out. They were conducive to discussions between students and instructors thereby creating a favorable sense of proximity.
This partnership will continue in time as it represents an excellent preparedness step for all our future officers that will maneuver STQ’s ships.
The MSRC, a valuable partner for the Québec Port Authority
The Québec Port Authority is proud to be home to a maritime expertise centre that is unique in North America. Equipped with highly sophisticated navigation simulators, the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (MSRC) is specialized in the validation of port and maritime projects, enabling us to make informed decisions based on concrete and relevant results. The MSRC has completed several mandates for the APQ and its contribution has always been very valuable.
The outstanding service and vast expertise of the MSRC team enable the Port of Québec to rely on cutting-edge, world-class technology to help make its development projects a reality. Such a collaborator contributes significantly to the completion of major maritime infrastructure projects and is an exceptional source of information in the daily operation of a port.
Congratulations to the entire team and long live our collaboration.
Outstanding Full Bridge Simulator and Staff
WesPac Midstream LLC contracted with the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (MSRC) to conduct a week of full bridge simulations of LNG Carriers transiting the Fraser River in southern British Colombia, Canada. We brought in Fraser River pilots for the LNGC’s and used all four simulation stations (LNG Carrier and three tethered tugs). MSRC provided local captains for the tugs.
The pilots confirmed that the simulator produced very realistic representation of the actual conditions. The whole process was very professional and resulted in a very thorough final report.
We later needed to run some additional simulations, and MSRC happily and very quickly assisted us with the task. I highly recommend the MSRC.
Since 2007, several marine trials have been carried out on various worldwide real-time simulators to assess the feasibility, operability and reliability of the Canaport LNG facilities. In 2012, we decided to try out the MSRC facilities with a view to improving actual operations. Current St John’s pilots and tug masters were assigned to a thorough seven-day simulation program. They used four full-mission bridges, one as the main bridge, (for QMAX and QFLEX vessels) and the other three for real-time tug assistance simulation, using Z-Drive tug models.
This resulted in one of the most amazing, reliable and comprehensive marine tests I have ever been professionally involved in, in my 20 years of experience on the job. The full interaction of all parties during the runs and debriefing sessions, with the support of MSRC instructors and advisors, ensured that the simulation programs were completed on time and practical maneuvering strategies were acquired.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank the entire MSRC project staff, led by Paul Racicot, for their kindness and contributions throughout the project. I cannot recommend the MSRC too highly for its extraordinary team of great human beings. I look forward to working with them again in the near future.
Since its opening, the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (MSRC) has been providing ship manoeuvres proficiency training to the pilots of the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority (GLPA). To meet our training needs, the MSRC has developed databases covering the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Lake Ontario, the Detroit, St. Clair and St. Mary’s Rivers, and a number of ports on the Great Lakes.
All our pilots who have trained at the MSRC agree on the quality of the facilities, the value of the training programs and the professionalism of the resources at their disposal. The GLPA is very satisfied with the results achieved so far and plans to continue using the services of the MSRC in the coming years.