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Real Boat Evacuation Drill Training

Sim-Systems recently designed and created a simulator for ship evacuation training for Szkola Morska (Maritime School) in Gdynia, Poland. The simulator was built for training purpose and real life usage. “Free Fall Life Boat FFB57C2, built by Ustka Shipyard, uses a 30-45-degree tilt, providing training participants with a free fall effect” said Tomasz Tokarski, a Sim-System representative. The simulator uses hydraulic actuators, which modify the horizontal lay out of the boat. The free fall effect meets the needs and requirements of safety training and it also eliminates problems and threats occurring during traditional boat drills, when the life boats are disassembled and thrown into the water off the ship. This is also significantly cheaper, and does not depend on weather conditions. The real life boats are made out of polyurethane resin and despite solid construction, they are not designed for a frequent contact with a sea water surface.

“The main purpose of the training is to become familiar with all the procedures taking place during ship evacuation” said captain Alfred Naskret, the president of The Gdynia Maritime School. The fall of the boat down to the water has always been dangerous due to the risks involved. This type of training was not hugely popular, however there has always been a necessity to know this. 

Controlled Threat

In order to create a simulation of a real ship evacuation, a special warehouse space at Hutnicza Street in Gdynia has been adapted for a new simulator’s activities. There is a dedicated space for the ship crew, where life jackets are stored, and there is also a ship evacuation gangway.  To make the  training even more realistic, special audio and visual effects have been implemented for the simulation. They also offer a rain option to simulate what actually happens in a typical evacuation. “The mechanism of life boat fall from a ship vessel into the water is a common occurrence. Therefore, it is easy to recreate” explained Tomasz Tokarski. After life boat disengages off the vessel, the unit falls in a parabolic arch down to the water, hits the surface, submerges  and  rises to the  water surface due to buoyancy.  “The simulation system with hydraulic actuators safely reenacts  the occurrence of all the events and  in addition to the above, it’s creating sea waves” Tokarski adds.

At the very end of the simulation, the trainees hear a sound of an approaching helicopter and learn the procedures of departing the life boat. “The first training sessions on the innovative simulator have already taken place. There is a lot of interest and talks with various maritime entities and it looks like the simulation is becoming our export offer” said captain Alfred Naskret. “At present we are working on IMO model training, which will help tremendously to conduct the training activities”.