Simulation training provides continuous learning for coxswains

In an emergency, every second counts. The members of the Marine team at our offshore operations in the Atlantic region keep this in mind as they train and apply their learnings to their roles every day. 

As a marine certified Chief Officer, Brian Smith, Marine Coordinator at Cenovus Energy, has worked on the SeaRose, our offshore floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for 15 years. Working with Virtual Marine – a company that specializes in the development of state-of-the-art maritime safety training simulators – Cenovus’s Marine team developed simulation training to train potential team members and to advance regulatory recognition of Cenovus’s advanced coxswain program. A coxswain is the individual in charge of navigation and steering for a ship or boat, and regular training for this role is part of our safety and emergency management procedure.    

“Simulation training is part of our coxswain program and helps members of the Marine team keep their skills up to date,” explains Brian. “The use of simulations is a great way for our team to role play and see how different potential scenarios could unfold. The training also helps with our continued learning and improvement as a team and allows us to maintain our compliance requirements”. 

Coxswains are trained in 15 scenarios that vary by weather conditions and mission objectives.

“It’s a bit like driving your car to work every day, when you do it so often, you develop the muscle memory to guide your actions so you can navigate seamlessly through traffic,” said Brian. “With the simulator you can practice building the muscle memory and good habits, so it certainly provides a sense of preparedness when mitigating risks, or even having the ability to practice scenarios that would be too dangerous to practice in real-life.”   

While there is still a regulatory requirement to complete on-water training every three years, the coxswains on the SeaRose can train almost any time using the vessel’s on-board lifeboat simulator, which goes a long way to helping the members of Cenovus’s Marine team stay sharp and continue to Protect what matters.


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