Maritime Simulation & Resource Centre - By Pilots, For Pilots

By MarEx 2012-11-20 15:40:00

Today’s maritime simulators are equipped with impressive graphics that can make users feel like they’re really onboard.

Recognizing the value that real life experience has, 75 maritime pilots from the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots pitched in to build a training centre founded on the idea of limitless customization and the benefit of real life mariners’ experience. Pilots who come to the Maritime Simulation & Resource Centre (MSRC) have the unique opportunity to learn from mariners who have the experience of onboard emergency situations.

Pilots training at MSRC are treated to realistic sailing conditions such as simulated coast line and ports along rivers and oceans, as well as currents sea beds and geographic landmarks throughout the world. Their state-of-the-art multidisciplinary navigation simulator can interact with up to 300 vessels at a time, and mimic difficult ship-handling circumstances, including reduced visibility, winds, changing currents, docking/undocking, narrow channel maneuvers incompassating bank and squat effects.

Based on its internationally recognized expertise, MSRC has built numerous partnerships with acclaimed organizations. MSRC recently signed Memorandum of Understandings with the Canadian Navy, the Canadian Hydrographic Service and Environment Canada. Groups of Pilots from Canada, the United States and South America use various training programs at MSRC. Major shipping companies, such as Euronav Shipping Company, train its senior officers and captains at the Centre as well. The tailor-made programs and in-house certifications ensure that participants will meet a wide array of international training standards. Outside experts are also known to be outsourced from anywhere around the world if naval architecture or dredging, for example, is the specialized project at hand.

The biggest advantage of MSRC is how extremely customizable all of its simulator scenarios are. MSRC has the advanced technology to test and modernize a project before starting it. For example, at a time when the dredging of ports is significant – particularly in the U.S. – for accommodating Panamax and Cape size vessels, MSRC can add a swell into a channel to test navigation and emergency maneuvering tactics. A testing participant can find out how powerful tugboats need to be to move certain vessels, or build in environmental conditions and see how they interact with a vessel’s maneuvering capacities. Anything is possible with the cutting-edge customization options at MSRC - from building new terminals, jetties and bridges.

Lastly, MSRC guarantees the feasibility of each situation in their training programs. Extensive research and studies have been carried out on topics ranging from the integration of LNG vessels into existing traffic to new port infrastructure in Colombia. This ensures that each situational problem encountered during simulation exercises are based on current shipping issues.

Overall, MSRC prides itself on its unique distinction from other training facilities. The difference is that at MSRC there are 75 skilled pilots who are readily available to pitch in with training and other situations that are bound to arise in nearly every mariner’s career at sea.

For additional information, visit http://www.sim-pilot.com/.


It is a MUST for all pilots! 
"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 when I discovered 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!"

These comments reflect my real impression of the course.

President of the Brazilian Pilots’ Association

I was very impressed!! 

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.

Mike Morris
Houston Pilots

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.

Marc Drouin P. Eng. M. Sc.
Projects Director
Port and Marine Engineering
Roche Ltée, Ingénieurs-conseils