College expands ice navigation training

City of Glasgow College 360 degree shipping simulation suite

City of Glasgow College’s recent inaugural Maritime Symposium discussed the future of maritime education and the importance it plays in delivering high quality technical and professional skills.

The event highlighted the need for changes in seafarer training; something the college’s Faculty of Nautical Studies continually assesses and makes provision for.

In response to changing requirements arising from new regulations in the Polar Code, the college is launching Ice Navigation Training using realistic exercises in its shipping simulation suite to enhance the learning experience.

Dleep Fotedar, Curriculum Head for the College’s Faculty of Nautical Studies, said:

“The industry recognises that vessels must be operated with increased safety in the Polar Regions if such areas are to be protected. The increased melting of Arctic sea ice has extended the navigation season for ships and it is anticipated that the volume of traffic will continue to grow and diversify in the Arctic region.”

“Our current Ice Navigation training gives our students a basic understanding of ice conditions but, in future, masters, chief mates and officers in charge of navigational watch will be qualified in accordance with the STCW Convention and the STCW Code.”

This qualification will be attained through Basic Training for officers in charge of a navigational watch and cover ice knowledge, vessel performance, manoeuvring, regulations, crew preparation and environmental factors. The Advanced Training for Masters and Mates will additionally cover voyage planning, equipment limitations, extensive ice ship handling and a broader knowledge of safety.

Captain Phillip Taylor, Lecturer in Nautical Studies at the College, said:

“Our College was the first in Scotland with a 360 degree shipping simulation suite, so we are well placed to offer both courses which are specifically designed to better prepare Masters and Mates for the rigours of operating in the Polar Regions. Our real time simulations, coupled with appropriate sea experience, should give them the confidence to meet these challenges.”

The Polar Code is expected to come into force on 1 January 2017. It is an historic milestone in the work of the International Maritime Organisation to protect ships and people aboard them, both seafarers and passengers, in the harsh environment of the waters surrounding the two poles.