SUNY Maritime opens Bouchard Tug and Barge Simulation Center

The following is the text of a news release from the State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College:

(THROGGS NECK, N.Y.) — With a neat snip from an oversized pair of ceremonial scissors, the State University of New York Maritime College today officially opened the state-of-the-art Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Tug and Barge Simulation Center before a crowd of more than 100 students, faculty, staff, elected officials and industry leaders. The simulation center is located in historic Fort Schuyler on the SUNY Maritime campus.

Today’s ribbon-cutting event was hosted by SUNY Maritime President Rear Adm. Michael A. Alfultis. Joining Alfultis at the event was Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y.; Bouchard Transportation Co. President and CEO Morton S. Bouchard III; his sons, Morton S. Bouchard IV and Brendan Bouchard; vice president of regulatory affairs at Bouchard Transportation, Capt. Robert Glas; and Capt. Eric Johansson, professor of marine transportation and professional education at Maritime College. 

The Bouchard Transportation Tug and Barge Simulation Center is the latest in Kongsberg Polaris bridge simulation technology, utilizing an industry-inspired bridge console arrangement, with the latest hydrodynamic ship models and exercise areas. The center offers full mission bridge simulators, instruction stations, and a debriefing area, where instructors can discuss topics including navigation, seamanship and bridge resource management skills required in the operation of tugs and barges. 

Training on this state-of-the-art center ensures that students enrolled at the college, and professional mariners alike, are well educated and trained in a controlled environment. Attention will be given to the complexities of operating tugs and barges, ranging in size from 3,000 to 12,000 horsepower, which carry all types of commodities. The center creates new opportunities and better prepares future and current professionals for successful careers in the maritime industry.  

Funded by a gift from the Bouchard Transportation, the simulation facility is available to professional mariners currently working on tugs and barges. Students at SUNY Maritime College will be trained with this new technology as part of their program of study.

Bouchard Transportation has a wonderful history with SUNY Maritime College. Each year it awards scholarships to several deserving students. The company also employs many Maritime College alumni following their graduation. Today’s official opening of the Bouchard Transportation Tug and Barge Simulation Center is just the latest example of its generosity bestowed upon the SUNY Maritime campus.

Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York. Bouchard is a family owned business and the nation’s largest independently-owned ocean-going petroleum barge company. The company’s areas of operation span all four coasts of the United States: East, Gulf, West and Great Lakes. The fleet consists of 25 barges ranging from 25,000 to 252,000 barrels and 21 tugs ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 horsepower.

By Professional Mariner Staff