The Escort Tug course provides an overview of escort tug operations principles in narrow channels and is delivered through practical exercises designed to demonstrate escort operations in a narrow channel and the associated tug commands. Various types of large vessels are used at various speeds within the operational environmental limits encountered in specific harbours.
The post-Panamax course analyzes the challenges of these vessels on navigation, i.e., transits in confined waters, traffic management, vessel management, type and number of tugs required, restrictions related to channels and port infrastructure.
The MSRC had developed the Houston Channel geographic database allowing both pilots and tug masters to carry out interactive simulation exercises in their own environment.
This is the first time the MSRC simultaneously hosts a group of Houston tug captains and pilots for this type of training and Dave Hill, President of G&H Towing, was very enthusiastic about his experience: “This was a positive collaborative experience supported by the MSRC’s wonderful technical staff. The joint participation was a natural progression to continue the development of ship escort and docking best practices in the Houston channel, while also strengthening communications between our organizations.”
Commenting on the training sessions, Houston pilot Captain Daniel Doty said: “Thank you to Paul, the staff and instructors at the MSRC. The courses were designed with flexibility in mind and the simulator environment helped facilitate dialogue and accelerate problem solving for both pilots and tug masters. We were given part of the courses as structured and were then given the opportunity to adapt to our specific channel. It could not have been better; we gained insight into the tug side and were able to do the same for them. Thanks again for allowing us to expand our knowledge of one another and to practice our trade.”