A World First in Safety Training

Most people try to learn from their mistakes but in the offshore environment, this can be both expensive and dangerous. PGS has taken an alternative approach.

Over the years, our operations have become more complex, while our equipment has become more efficient. In 2010, PGS asked VP Special Projects Einar Nielsen to look at how well PGS crews were handling unexpected back-deck situations, such as retrieval of survey equipment following a technical problem.

People are now rarely exposed to these sorts of situations, and they have become less confident about how to respond. "You can’t learn back-deck operations from a book," Nielsen explains.

Simulator-based training seemed the natural solution for practising safe and efficient operations, so Nielsen contacted Kongsberg Maritime, one of the world’s leading providers of maritime simulators, to develop a suitable cyber environment for PGS, and agreed a partnership with Vestfold University College (HiVe) to host it.

PGS teams devoted a lot of time to the technical design. The result is a cutting- edge system that simulates the retrieval of up to eight seismic cables and allows three employees to work on deck as a team.

This is the world’s first man-on-deck simulator, as opposed to control-room based, which is the standard for maritime simulators. It uses the Kinect™ for Windows motion sensing device. Each trainee can move around on a virtual back-deck and interact with their colleagues, while being provided with best practice and safety advice.

Most PGS crew members have now been trained in the simulator. Their feedback, from day one, has been very positive.

It was clear early on that there was a lot of potential for developing this facility for other unplanned situations where safety and efficiency is a priority. Today in addition to the backdeck simultator PGS also utilizes a bridge simultator and a similar cyber training facility for support vessels. All three can be linked, enabling us to train a variety of risk-prone scenarios thoroughly and safely.