New Competition Tests Leadership, Skills of Nautical Science Students
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nautical science students Brandon Carroll, Nick Dawe, Joachim Fagan, Justin Rideout, Samantha Strowbridge, Dawn Upshall received $1,000 each and will have their names engraved on the Captain Jim Thorpe plaque. Forty-six students from the Marine Institute’s nautical science program entered the competition.

Eight teams in total competed in five different exercises in dynamic positioning, seamanship, cargo work, ship handling and navigation. Each team was awarded points based on their attention to safety, ability to successfully execute specific tasks and procedures and to work together as a team.

“This was a competition of firsts,” said Capt. Chris Hearn, divisional master of CMMC NL and the director of the Marine Institute’s Centre for Marine Simulation. “For many students, it was the first time they were called upon to work as a bridge team on a ship simulator and apply their knowledge in real life scenarios. Our judges, all of whom are experienced captains, were very impressed by how well students were able to handle each situation and by their eagerness for feedback on their performance.”

Teams were also tasked with presenting a safety moment at the start of each exercise to demonstrate situational awareness of the environment, concern for the cargo and crew and knowledge of the equipment being used. The competition was organized by CMMC NL to promote the maritime sector, encourage team building and professionalism, and foster a culture of safety.

“There are a number of Canadian and American schools and similar organizations in the US who are anxious to hear how well this competition was received by students,” said Hearn.  “We hope this competition will encourage other divisions to organize similar events with maritime training schools throughout North America. Perhaps there is an opportunity to create a national or international competition.” Hearn also thinks the competition could be expanded to included high school students to increase their awareness of careers in the maritime industry.

A number of local, national and international companies from the marine transportation industry sponsored the 2012 competition including Lloyds Register, Newfoundland Transhipment Limited, DNV, Rutter, Fednav, Seamanning Services Ltd, Kongsberg Maritime Simulation, NEAS, Atlantic Towing, Woodwards, Husky Energy, Suncor, Canship Ugland, St. John Ambulance, Canadian Coast Guard, Virtual Marine Technology, Mercers Marine and Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.