Simsea has over the years trained thousands of deck officers to avoid and handle challenging situations that can occur on-board a ship. The deck officers typically come from all kinds of trades and ships. We train them in leadership, situation awareness, stress handling, decision making, communication, teamwork, etc. However, and that is a paradox, we very seldom train engineers! Now, our engine room simulators are not in use.
This is primarily a paradox because most incidents on-board a modern ship is caused by issues in the engine room. The incident at Hustadvika in Norway this year where a cruise ship faced server trouble is in fact not a special case. It doesn’t require much fantasy to imagine the stress the engineers must have felt on-board Viking Sky when the ship drifted towards striking rocks or hopefully a solid attachment for the anchors.
Many sailing engineers have no experience from such situations and the sad truth is that nor are they trained to handle them. It is of cause a big difference from day to day routine work in the engine room to problem solving under severe stress. Very capable engineers working as instructors in Simsea confirm this. Most maritime engineers need to be trained in handling engine trouble under server stress. This includes beeing on top of the situation; dicover and understand, and maintain a proactive attitude to the circumstances surrounding them. At the same time they need to be capable of share their observations, understanding and actions with colleagues and bridge to create a shared situation awareness.
Remember, “a safe ship has engineers that can handle a crisis as well as routine work”. Practice makes perfect.