Broome's world-class marine simulator extends far beyond an international training facility

Written on the 8 March 2016 by Melva Stone

Broome's world-class marine simulator extends far beyond an international training facility

When the iron ore carrier, Iron King, ran aground in Port Hedland on 31st July, 2008 the Australian Transport Safety Bureau identified lack of emergency procedures training, as the key contributor to the incident.  With more than 125 million tonnes of iron ore on the carrier, and access to the world's largest Iron Ore Port blocked the incident posed a real threat to the world economy, with iron ore stocks plunging overnight on the London Stock Exchange.

Forward eight years and the level of assessment in the marine industry has increased dramatically, with training to meet emergency procedures, such as rudder failure, now an essential part of the process. The Broome Maritime Simulation Centre plays a key role in delivering this type of specialized training to high end clients. It is the only maritime training centre in Australia to use the world-class "Transas" simulator and competes for business around the world. 

European based company, Seaways, proudly markets itself as providing "Bespoke Maritime Simulation". To deliver its tug master training in Australia, it chose the Broome Maritime Centre to partner with.  Tug masters, training with Seaways, now regularly visit Broome to gain the necessary accreditation required for their industry.

Many of us consider a simulator as being designed to train people in their chosen profession. However, as I discovered, when I sat down to chat with Jeff Cooper from the Broome Maritime Simulation Centre, a marine simulator has far greater potential. Maritime simulators are used in port development, port design, port operations and to simulate dredging equipment, which is vital to the development of our oil and gas industries. With such diverse application, the Centre also attracts investment bankers and others, looking to determine the potential profitability, feasibility and capital cost of a new or developing port. Ports from as far afield as Sierra Leone are on the list of clients at the Centre.

The Broome Maritime Simulation Centre is contributing in very positive ways to our local economy. To put it in Jeff Cooper's words " when someone comes to Broome for our simulator, they usually stay a minimum of five days and often bring family with them. Our competitors are in cold Launceston or windy Fremantle, so we do have a world-class offering here, not only with our simulator, but also with the added benefits of a visit to a tourist destination like Broome".

Author:Melva Stone

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