Putting the simulator to the test
Hearing feedback from the Port of Fujairah’s Harbour Master
Captain Tamer Masoud
Port of Fujairah
The Port of Fujairah, situated just south of the Strait of Hormuz in the United Arab Emirates, has taken delivery of 18 Damen vessels (mostly tugs) since 1983. While the port handles a broad range of ships, its strategic location means that Fujairah plays a key role in the region’s oil handling industry.
“We have about five thousand vessels visiting port and fourteen thousand vessels calling at Fujairah Offshore Anchorage Area every year – mainly tankers, LNG, bulk carriers and container vessels,” states Harbour Master Captain Tamer Masoud. “Of these, about 70% are tankers.” Because these oil terminals, SPMs and ship-to-ship transfer sites are quite dispersed around the surrounding area, the port’s fleet of tugs are kept busy handling the sheer amount of maritime traffic.
An experienced opinion
With the aim to improve the ship handling skills of his team, Captain Masoud sent a group of tug masters to 360 Control’s training facilities. “Simulator training gives our tug masters more confidence. It helps them carry out their work in a safer and more efficient way. Especially concerning the ‘leading forward and leading aft’ operations with our ASD Tugs.”
Working as Harbour Master since October 1992 and ten years as a Pilot prior to that, Captain Masoud is in a good position to highlight some of 360 Control’s strong points. “Because the instructor at 360 is an ex-tug master himself, he talks the same language as the people coming for training. This is very important otherwise you cannot evaluate the experience.”
Safe and controlled
In addition to the previous experience of the instructors, he goes on to say how beneficial it is to include theoretical exercises as well as practical simulator training. “This theoretical information is extremely important. Because the handling of ASD Tugs is so different to conventional tugs, trainees need to understand how this propulsion system works.”
The crux of the matter though, is that simulator training allows trainees to practice manoeuvres in a safe and controlled environment. “During a simulation you can do whatever you like and there will be no assets damage caused and training for minimising the effect of human error. If you make a mistake then the instructor can advise you how to improve your actions.”