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Simulation Training for Replenishment at Sea (RAS) Operations: Addressing the Unique Problems of ‘Close-Alongside’ and ‘In-line’ Support for Multi-Streamer Seismic Survey Vessels Underway

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Modern siesmic survey vessels in ‘production’, may tow twelve or more streamers, each of which can be six to eight kilometres long. Together with associated paravanes, tail-buoys and acoustic ‘guns’, the streamer spread width of such wide-tow configurations can extend to 1200 metres. The physical deploy-ment and recovery of such an extensive array is time-consuming and expensive. The entire survey operation requires the constant attendence of a suitable offshore support vessel (OSV) to act in the role of ‘chase ves-sel’, but more critically, to provide close replenishment support underway and, when required, rapid emer-gency towing assistance. While naval crews rightly claim a near monopoly on the skills-set necessary for underway replenishment, the naval RAS exercise almost never involves the supply and receiving vessels engaging ‘close-alongside’. The seismic/OSV replenishment operation, on the other hand, frequently necessitates such a demanding and stressful manoeuvre. This paper presents a training solution involving the use of a 360°full-mission bridge simulator.
  • Cork, Ireland
  • [1] International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), 2002, Marine Seismic Operations: An Overview.
  • [2] Naval Warfare Publication, 2004, Underway Replenishment NWP 4-01.4, US Navy Department. Available at:
  • [3] Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), 2002, Marine Guidance Notice MGN 199 (M) Dangers of Interaction, Southampton, MCA.
  • [4] Paffett, J. 1990, Ships and Water. London, The Nautical Institute.
  • [5] McTaggart, K. Cumming, D. Hsiung, C. & Li, L. 2001, Hydrodynamic Interactions Between Ships During Under-way Replenishment, 6th Canadian Marine Hydrodynamics and Structures Conference, Vancouver, 23-26 May.
  • [6] Skejic, R. Breivik, M. Fossen, T. & Faltinsen, O. 2009, Modeling and Control of Underway Replenishment Operations in Calm Water, 8th IFAC International Conference on Manoeuvring and Control of Marine Craft, Guarujá (SP), Brazil, 16-18 September.
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