The oil & gas industry contractor SAIPEM, recently commissioned DP (dynamic positioning) market and technology leader Kongsberg Maritime to deliver a tailored DP emergency scenario training course for its employees, at the Kongsberg Maritime training centre in Kongsberg, Norway. SAIPEM has decided to put all their pertinent crews through the course, in total a series of ten courses will be held.
DP, in which a vessel’s heading and position are automatically managed by computer-controlled inputs to the craft’s thrusters and propellers, has proved to be an invaluable manoeuvring technology for decades, particularly in offshore contexts such as cable-laying, drilling and oceanographic research. However, a reported global escalation in DP incidents prompted SAIPEM to seek Kongsberg Maritime’s assistance in bringing its staff fully up to speed with DP and related operational factors by means of a bespoke training course.
The course was centered on avoiding DP incidents that could negatively impact operational safety and the wider environment. Such incidents can occur for a multitude of reasons including power failure, lost or drifting wind/position/motion sensors and gyrocompasses, and, inevitably, human factors which can significantly impair decision-making and communication in emergency scenarios.
All of these aspects and more were addressed in the four-day course, which was prefaced by a 40-question DP system knowledge test. This was undertaken by attendees to pinpoint shortfalls in competence and system understanding before the training started.
The course itself began with a one-day familiarisation to the KONGSBERG K-Pos DP operator interface and cJoy joystick control system. This was followed in turn by extensive use of Kongsberg Maritime’s DNV Class A K-Sim Offshore training simulator to expose participants to realistic DP situations, focusing on operations carried out by SAIPEM’s pipelaying vessel, Castorone, while stress-testing CAMO (Critical Activity Mode of Operation) and ASOG (Activity Specific Operating Guidelines) risk-management methods.
The K-Sim Offshore simulator, bolstered with role play, enabled course attendees to replicate procedures including emergency manoeuvring and close-proximity emergency station keeping. The training activities helped SAIPEM employees to identify DP errors, hone their situational awareness, evaluate situations and implement appropriate measures. Simulator exercises of this nature provide training instructors with a lucid overview of individual responses and their potential effect on team dynamics and incident outcomes, generating insights which go far beyond those available via traditional classroom-based coaching.
“Kongsberg Maritime’s comprehensive course allowed our DPOs to carry out corrective actions in simulated DP scenarios and consider their potential consequences,” says Roberta Tamburro, Training Centre Manager, SAIPEM. “The simulator exercises enabled them to self-assess their emergency responses in a stressful environment. Furthermore, debriefs after each exercise and open discussions throughout cemented the view that the course represented a fully rounded and deeply beneficial learning experience.”
“Kongsberg Maritime has more than three decades of successful experience in supplying training courses to companies within the offshore and wider maritime industries,” adds Ole Aleksander Ottesen, DP Instructor, Kongsberg Maritime, “and this reflects our overall standing as a standard-bearer of industry excellence. We were delighted to have received such positive feedback from SAIPEM as their nominated training provider and look forward to extending this quality of service to other customers requiring bespoke training courses in the future.”