Bouchard partners with SUNY Maritime on private training course

AUGUST 17, 2016 — Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., has cooperated with SUNY Maritime College to hold a USCG Leadership & Managerial Skills Course for its vessel employees.

Effective March 24, 2014, additional training and/or assessments became required for certain Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) endorsements. Bouchard felt it was important to host a private course in order to ensure that the proper requirements are met for all management level (Captains) and CEO (Chief Engineer Officer) vessel employees before December 31, 2016.

The course was held during the weeks of July 18 – 21, and August 1 – 4, at Bouchard's corporate headquarters in Melville, NY, for all Bouchard tug captains & chief engineers.

Bouchard is the first operator to privately host this class for its vessel employees.

Proper training and education is of vital importance to Bouchard, and ensures a safe operation for vessel crew and customers. The USCG Leadership & Managerial Skills Course is designed to demonstrate the importance of clear communication and leadership needs aboard the vessel. With this understanding, captains and chief engineers are then able to competently, and productively carry out their duties, leading to an overall safe operation.

By the conclusion of the course, says Bouchard, each tug captain and chief engineer held proficient knowledge of the following:

  • Knowledge of shipboard personnel management and training;
  • A knowledge of related international maritime conventions and recommendations, and national legislation;
  • Ability to apply task and workload management;
  • Knowledge and ability to apply effective resource management; and
  • Knowledge and ability to apply decision-making techniques.

Following completion of the course, all tug captains then moved on to receive a full day of simulator training at the Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. Tug & Barge Simulation Center at SUNY Maritime College's Fort Schuyler, NY, campus.

Simulator training was conducted by a USCG level licensed instructor, and held using the Port of New York, Port of Houston and New London area databases.

The own ships, target ships and tugs in SUNY Maritime's Simulator Library were used in the simulations. The goal of training was for all captains to demonstrate the sufficient knowledge needed to undertake the duties of an Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch.

Training included the following:

  • Operation during restricted visibility;
  • Navigating in a narrow channel;
  • Use of "Z" Drive tug(s);
  • Meeting and overtaking in close quarters situations;
  • Application of COLREGS;
  • Workload management; and
  • Situational Awareness.

Bouchard reports that each session was successful, and exceeded expectations for all involved. Internal evaluations concluded that the course's success was a direct result of the private nature of the class, as it was convenient and specifically structured to meet the needs of Bouchard employees.

The rare opportunity for Bouchard office personnel and crew members to interact with each other was also a major benefit.

"The USCG Leadership & Managerial Skills Course illustrates the importance of working as a cohesive unit, while demonstrating the positive leadership skills needed to operate efficiently and safely," said Kevin Donohue, VP Safety & Vetting, Bouchard Transportation. "These skills can be used in all situations, including navigational, operational and personal, which leads to an overall collaborative crew. Thank you SUNY Maritime College for partnering with us, as the private nature of this course assisted in making these weeks such a success for all involved."

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