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Merchant Navy Pre-cadetship students to benefit from Solent University’s donation of £1m shipping simulator

Merchant Navy Pre-cadetship students at Brockenhurst College will soon benefit from a £1m shipping simulator system donated by Solent University’s Warsash Maritime School.

The Kongsberg Polaris Bridge Simulator, which will come online next year, comprises nine monitors run by a network of 14 computers to provide a 100% immersive experience of operating a large vessel.

Users can select from a wide variety of ship types including oil tankers, cruise ships, ferries, superyachts, container vessels and bulk carriers.

They can also select from different ports around the world, featuring accurate landmarks and shipping lane configurations, plus inclement seas and weather if required.

An instructor can then throw in complications such as engine failure, helm failure and/or listing to test and help refine students’ skills.

Up to five pre-cadets at a time will be able to assume various different roles on the bridge and then rotate duties.

The experience is so realistic that past users have even reported feeling seasick.

Lecturer Matt Rolph said: “As soon as the simulation starts, the students are right there on the bridge, controlling what in reality would be many millions of pounds’ worth of ship and cargo.

“It moves and handles exactly like a real vessel, so we are very grateful to our training partners, Solent University, for empowering us to give learners this outstanding learning experience.”

The simulator became surplus to requirements at Solent University following the opening of a new state-of-the-art maritime simulation centre on the institution’s East Park Terrace campus in May 2019.

Warsash Maritime School Director, Lars Lippuner, said: “Brockenhurst College and Solent University’s Warsash Maritime School have been working in close collaboration to create meaningful progression and career pathways for young people with an interest to work in the maritime industry.

“To be able to offer this important training facility to the pre-cadet training programme at this stage in their studies is good news for Brockenhurst College, Warsash and the maritime industry.”

The Pre-cadetship for the Merchant Navy is a full-time Level 2 course designed to prepare learners for sought-after cadetship opportunities in the Merchant Navy.

Brockenhurst College is one of only five UK colleges to offer the qualification, which is delivered at its Marchwood Construction and Marine Technologies Training Centre, close to the Solent.

From last year’s Pre-cadetship cohort of 20 learners, 15 have secured sponsorship with shipping companies to complete a full cadetship programme at Warsash Maritime School.

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