Caption: Fiji National University’s (FNU) maritime campus in Nasese ,full mission bridge and engine room simulator.
By ASHTOSH SINGH
Instructors from nine Pacific Island States and Territories (PICTs) were in Suva last week participating in a week-long simulator training course for instructors.
The training was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with funding from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Technical Co-operation Fund and Singapore through the Singapore-IMO Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a Third Country Training Programme (TCTP).
SPC’s Deputy Director Transport, Brian Riches said that the training is a ‘rare’ opportunity for PICTs to upgrade skills and knowledge, locally as training of this sort usually happens outside the Pacific. He said the main objective of the training is to improve competence of instructors involved in simulator training.
‘The programme was mainly set around the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) 2010 amendments and aimed to enhance the capacity of trained and qualified instructors to deliver structured competence-based education and training programmes for seafarers in accordance to the STCW Convention,’ he said.
‘Ship handling is an art, involving moving vessels worth millions of dollars. We need to acknowledge the importance of simulation and understand its role in meeting STCW guidelines. ,’ Mr Riches said.
A highlight of the workshop was the visit to Fiji National University’s (FNU) maritime campus in Nasese where participants were introduced to the state-of–the-art simulation equipment (full mission bridge and engine room simulator) which costs over FJ$ 2 million.