Canadian Companies Continue Training Tradition

Newport, RI, (20 February 2008) – For more than 25 years, Canadian officers have travelled to MarineSafety International’s Newport Simulator Center to attend training.  Seaway Marine Transport held a Piloting Course for four students there during the week of February 11th to 15th, 2008.

The attendees (pictured below, left to right) were:  Mike Sinderly (Algoma), Ryan Knee (Algoma), Ed Lynch (MarineSafety), Jim Ryan (Upper Lakes), and Adam Howell (Upper Lakes).

This is a particularly advantageous time for the Canadians to attend their annual training regimen, as the Saint Lawrence Seaway is closed to navigational traffic during the Winter months.

Over the years, MarineSafety in conjunction with the Canadian companies has developed two Seaway-specific courses; Saint Lawrence Seaway Piloting, and Shiphandling on the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

The Piloting course is for chief, second, and third mates and focuses on close quarter maneuvering situations and hazardous piloting conditions resulting from ship traffic or poor visibility.

The Shiphandling course is for masters and chief mates and focuses on lock wall approaches, close quarter maneuvering situations, and emergency shiphandling conditions resulting from ship traffic or poor visibility.

In both courses emphasis is placed on learning, reviewing and practicing the pilotage or shiphandling skills required on specific, difficult sections of the Seaway and implementing proper bridge procedures in order to minimize human error.

Guided by Canadian ship masters with years of experience on the Seaway, both courses reinforce the proper relationship between engines and helm for ship maneuvering; and the effects wind, current, shallow water; as well as the effects banks and narrow channels and conditions of loading have on the behavior of the ship.  All reinforced by practical application exercises performed in a shiphandling simulator under varying conditions.


Shown above is a photo of the original simulator used for training students from the Dominion Marine Association, the predecessor to the Canadian Shipowners’ Association.  This was a “model board” system.

Other courses attended over the years by CSA members include BRM-ECDIS and Emergency Shiphandling.  The BRM-ECDIS Course is oriented towards the effective use of ECDIS, and focuses on effective flow of information; requirements of the bridge team; common clues available in most accidents, and how to optimize teamwork and effective decision-making.

The Emergency Shiphandling course is for masters and focuses on emergency shiphandling conditions resulting from ship traffic or poor visibility.

MarineSafety International has been providing shiphandling training to the commercial maritime industry, and the United States Navy since 1974.  MarineSafety owns and operates the Simulator Learning Center in Newport, Rhode Island.  The Center utilizes the latest state-of-the-art simulation techniques to provide a realistic decision-making environment without real-world risks.  MarineSafety’s roots trace back to the early 1950’s when its parent company, FlightSafety International, began training commercial airline pilots with simulators.

FlightSafety International is the world’s premier aviation training organization.  Over 75,000 pilots, technicians and other aviation professionals train at FlightSafety facilities each year.  The company designs and manufactures full flight simulators for civil and military aircraft programs and operates the world’s largest fleet of advanced full flight simulators at 40 training locations.

MarineSafety International is ISO 9001:2000 certified.  Its Quality Management System is applicable to the design, development, and conduct of simulator-based training and research for the maritime industry.  For more information call Gene Guest at 718.565.4180, send an email message to or visit

By Professional Mariner Staff