28 Aug 2019
In the coming weeks, IADC will publish fourteen nominations in the running to receive the Safety Award 2019 on its website and social media. The winner will be announced on 17 October 2019.
IADC is proud to announce that the fourth nomination is:
Jan de Nul’s Full Mission Simulator safely prepares crews for risky conditions at sea
The Full Mission Simulator (FMS) is a 360° simulator of a dredger's bridge where real situations can be practised in a safe environment. The simulator trains officers on project-specific ship power management of a designated vessel by setting up the parameters as they are known for a specific project area and scope of work. In this way, the crew gains an understanding of the ship and the project and can assess best approaches before operating in the real world.
In a cooperative operation amongst VDAB (the Flemish government), Jan De Nul and others at Zeebrugge, a dredging simulator was used to simulate a specific project risk. In this case, trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs) needed to discharge full power through a spray pontoon on a Dynamic Positioning (DP) track. The TSHDs needed to sail with the same speed and heading, taking into account the floating pipeline forces, wind and current, in combination with limited power on the propellers. In total five sessions were organised to include masters and Officers of Watch (OOWs) of two TSHDs. The worst possible conditions were simulated in regards to power management, bridge resource management and third party pleasure vessels.
Using the Full Mission Simulator helped the crews be better prepared for the actual project risks, resulting in better operational control and thus improved safety. Based on the positive experiences of Jan De Nul and its partners, more of such exercises should be conducted when dredging close to the operational limits. This is no easy task, just as the daily work of dredging crews is not easy, and competent instructors are crucial to the successful use of the simulator.
The FMS, which was used to recreate conditions at Zeebrugge, dates from 2005 and the success of the operation led Jan De Nul to order a new model with expected delivery in 2020. The cost of the FMS is not prohibitive for the dredging industry and the results as reported by Jan De Nul, “no incidents, no damages and no delays” makes the FMS as a safety tool worth the investment.