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GAC Introduces Seafarers to Return to Scene Training

Posted: August 23, 2011

R2S used on offshore vessels will aid seafarer training

Return to Scene (R2S) technology is one of the latest innovations in maritime training to improve safety and reduce repetition of potentially serious incidents. R2S was developed by UK-based Return to Scene Ltd and can be used not just for training but also for managing maintenance, vessel management and emergency response.

R2S technology links together high resolution 360 degree spherical photographs, using highly specialised cameras. The photographs create a virtual walk-through environment for trainees, says Conor Mowlds, director of GAC Training & Service Solutions Ltd (GTSS).

“R2S is one of the most exciting technological advances to be developed for shipping safety,” Mr Mowlds adds. “This immerses the training participant in the scene, allowing him or her to explore linked scenes, as well as magnifying, enhancing and measuring elements in each.

“Participants can also view associated plans, documents and certificates, listen to audio, view video and access web links, all from a single PC interface,” Mr Mowlds explains. “In many ways, this is more practical than being in situ, as well as being safer and more cost-effective. Team collaboration is also enhanced, as users anywhere in the world can use R2S.”

This is all linked through R2S software. After capturing the onboard images, R2S processes the data to create a database in collaboration with the client. This builds an asset management system that can then be used by multiple departments in an organisation, which in the case of training is the maritime academy.

“R2S’s immersive, visually intensive approach promotes situational awareness and readiness without the need to visit the asset in question physically,” says Mr Mowlds. “As such, R2S is the perfect tool for training people in the skills needed for remote vessels, where access and safety is at a premium. For larger organisations, R2S is also a tool for ensuring global standards for all personnel and disseminating best practice.

GTSS is a partnership between global shipping and logistics group, GAC, and the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI). NMCI is a US$100 million training facility in Cork with a suite of 17 simulators, fully operational full-sized ship engine and control rooms, workshops, an R2S program, fire- fighting training facilities and a survival pool.

R2S has already been put to good use by the oil and gas industry, where the enhanced visualisation tool has been utilised for vessel and asset management, training and emergency response planning by the likes of US oil majors, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, and North Sea platform operator, Petrofac.

Support vessel owner Bibby Offshore, makes wide use of R2S. It predominantly uses the technology for risk management, contingency planning and business continuity activities.

Bibby’s offshore vessels have been captured in their entirety using 360 degree spherical images. Bibby has added supplementary information, including risk assessments, processes, procedures, reports, video footage, 3D models, animations, plans and audio files, which have been ‘tagged’ to relevant parts of the images. These become ‘hotspots’ on the image, allowing users to retrieve the associated documentation.

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