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.
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