Nautical skills competition tests safety and leadership
Friday, February 15, 2013

Left to Right- Dawna Vivian, wife of late Captain Thorpe; Lydon Thorpe, son of late Captain Thorpe; Joachim Fagan; Tyler J Coady; Tyler Lockyer; Wayne Sampson; Nathan Finlay; Owen Morris

This past weekend, the Knotty Buoys, were crowned the champions of the 2nd annual Nautical Skills competition, hosted by the Company of Master Mariners of Canada (CMMC) (NL Division) and the Marine Institute.

Members of the winning team include nautical science students Nathan Finlay, Tyler Coady, Owen Morris, Wayne Sampson, Joachim Fagan and Tyler Lockyer. Each student received $1,000 and will have their names engraved on the Captain Jim Thorpe plaque.

The winners competed amongst seven other teams in a series of exercises in dynamic positioning, seamanship, cargo work, ship handling and navigation. The competition, facilitated by volunteers from CMMC NL, is designed to test the knowledge and ability of future deck officers and captains.  It is the only known competition of its kind in North America.

"This competition provided an excellent networking opportunity for students. Our students handled themselves in a professional manner and were eager to use the simulators and test their skill levels," said Capt. Chris Hearn, divisional master of CMMC NL and the director of MI's Centre for Marine Simulation. "The industry has significant safety and cultural requirements and we want to ensure that our students learn them right from the beginning."

Forty-five students from MI's nautical science program entered the competition. Each team was awarded points based on their attention to safety, ability to successfully execute specific tasks and procedures and teamwork. Every participant received free cadet memberships to the CMMC for 2013.

Teams were tasked with presenting a two minute briefing at the start of each exercise to demonstrate how they were incorporating safety into their tasks. This included factors such as situational awareness of the environment, concern for the cargo and crew and knowledge of the equipment being used.

"We received a lot of feedback from the judges. Students were debriefed and congratulated on how well they did and were also provided feedback on ways to improve," said Hearn.

The competition was organized by CMMC NL to promote the maritime sector, encourage team building and professionalism and foster a culture of safety. Local, national and international companies from the marine transportation industry sponsored the 2013 competition including Lloyds Register, Newfoundland Transhipment Limited, Rutter, Fednav, Seamanning/Maersk, Kongsberg Maritime, Atlantic Towing, Virtual Marine Technology, Suncor Energy, Oceanex, Noble Denton, Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Canship Ugland, Husky Energy, Woodward Group, Transocean, Marine Institute and Memorial University of Newfoundland.