MSI/CAORF Trains How To Avoid Ship Accidents Before They Happen

Marine Safety International (MSI) operates three facilities whose purpose is to study the causes of accidents, train ship personnel in a full fidelity simulator, examine potentials for human error and stress-related mistakes and look at the layouts of specific harbor and channel designs and make recommendations for accident avoidance . .. before they happen.

The flagship facility of MSI is the Computer Aided Operations Research Facility (CAORF), located on the grounds of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y. Originally built by the Federal Government as the National Maritime Research Center, CAORF houses one of the most sophisticated ship simulators in the world.

The simulator bridge contains actual tanker equipment, including radar, communications and steering mechanisms. Encompassing the bridge is a massive 240-foot horizontal 24-foot vertical panorama of the actual port conditions. The simulation can be varied by type of vessel, cargo load, time of day, atmospheric and tide conditions, other ships passing and tug effects.

In all, three dozen vessels can be simulated in almost 30 geographical locations at MSI/CAORF alone. All this is accomplished through several rooms of computers and high-tech video hardware (the software alone at the CAORF facility is worth over $20 million). The CAORF facility is so unique that both the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board have contracted to study the Valdez accident 5,000 miles away from the point of its occurrence —at MSI/CAORF.

Simulation technology combined with ongoing training reduces the risk to our environmentally sensitive waterways by increasing the margin of safety. Maritime personnel can demonstrate their skills and psychological makeup on this massive scale safely—on land. This lets them react to emergencies before they occur in real life.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 49,  Dec 1989

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.