Upgrades unveiled at Nautical Institute
The Nautical Institute showed off its state-of-the-art upgrades at the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Campus on Tuesday.
The federal government contributed $850,000 to upgrade the navigation simulator and acquire a new marine voltage simulator to allow for additional training opportunities to better prepare students for highly skilled jobs in the shipping industry.
The funding came from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s innovative community fund.
The total cost of the project, which started construction in July, is approximately $1.2 million. NSCC was responsible for the remainder of the cost.
The navigation simulator can simulate a wide range of vessel types and can create various storm conditions as students work on a replica of a ship’s bridge.
“It can simulate going into Sydney harbour, the Strait of Canso or Halifax harbour, or whatever harbour we want to simulate. It’s the most state-ofthe-art equipment right now in Canada,” said Tom Gunn, principal of the NSCC Strait Campus, in an interview.
“When you’re on the (navigation simulator), you would feel like you’re on a big, oceangoing vessel. It is quite large and people can get seasick in it as well because of the wave action.”
The simulators have expanded to another classroom where students can use smaller versions of a navigation simulator at individual workstations.
Gunn said it allows for each student to work on assignments using a presubscribed scenario decided by the instructor.
The upgrades included new digital software that simulates ice conditions and Arctic navigation, facilitating work with industry in the Northwest Passage.
While there are approximately 140 cadets who are registered in the program, last year there were approximately 1,200 mariners who attended the Nautical Institute to receive training certification in order to continue working in the marine industry.
Gunn said with new technology always on the horizon, the need to maintain an edge at the institute is important. It’s the reason the NSCC looks to keep upgrading its equipment and software.
“We want to keep things stateof-the art but we’re in pretty good shape right now. A lot of the major projects that we had on our checklist have been accomplished.”
The Nautical Institute is the oldest marine training institution in Canada dating back 145 years. It continues to attract students from across Canada and around the world.