A group of Alfons Håkans’ tug boat masters spent an interesting day together with more than half a dozen pilots from the Bothnian Sea area in the simulator at the Winnowa maritime academy in Rauma.
– The purpose of the day was of course to get together and discuss current topics. But we also wanted to check out the rather new simulator, and learn how we can learn to handle larger container vessels, Alfons Håkans’ District Manager in Rauma Tuomas Jokela says.
The port of Rauma has been enlarged with several hundred meters of quay due to more container ship traffic to and from Rauma.
– The activity in the port is going to increase. I think the simulator is an effective way to learn how to handle bigger vessels by trying out different maneuvers. In real time situations you do not start testing for example how you can turn a vessel around. Here we can do it – and in different weather conditions, too. So, we were in fact able to test some things that we may never be able to test elsewhere, Jokela explains.
Meeting with the pilots is something Alfons Håkans’ District Managers and masters do on a regular basis. But bringing the pilots to the simulator also creates a fruitful dialogue on hands on operations between the tug boat masters and the pilots – and this dialogue is of course the key to successful towage operations in real situations.
– The feedback from the pilots was very positive. And the safe Towage Manual on Alfons Håkans’ web site was welcomed by the pilots. Many pilots feel that they do not have the time to discuss, or instruct, safe towage principle as much as they would like to on the bridge, Tuomas Jokela says.