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£1m shipping simulator donated to Brockenhurst College

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A £1M shipping simulator that is so realistic it can cause sea sickness has been donated to Brockenhurst College to train merchant navy students.

Given by Solent University’s Warsash Maritime School, the equipment comprises nine monitors run by a network of 14 computers to provide an immersive experience of operating a large vessel.

College 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's so realistic it can cause sea sickness
It's so realistic it can cause sea sickness

“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 Kongsberg Polaris bridge simulator offers a wide variety of ships including oil tankers, cruise ships, ferries, superyachts, container vessels and bulk carriers. Students can choose from different ports around the world featuring landmarks and shipping lane configurations.

They can also alter the weather and seas to provide a real-time experience of handling a vessel. Instructors can also throw in complications such as engine failure to test a students’ skills.

Up to five pre-cadets at a time will be able to assume various different roles on the bridge and rotate duties. The experience is so realistic that past users have even reported feeling seasick.

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 cadetship opportunities. Brockenhurst College is one of only five UK colleges to offer the qualification at its Marchwood Construction and Marine Technologies Training Centre.

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