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Safety experts from Solent University, Southampton’s Warsash Maritime School are collaborating with the Centre for Factories of the Future (C4FF) on an exciting project developing Virtual Reality (VR) maritime safety training, funded by Innovate UK.

20th June 2024
MaritimeHomepage - News - Standard

Aimed at elevating maritime safety by immersing professionals in simulated emergency scenarios, this is one of only two projects funded during round one of the Launchpad: Immersive and Creative, Coventry & Warwickshire CR&D, and has been awarded £338,158 of funding.

The project focuses on enclosed space simulation, aiming to create realistic VR simulations of ship compartments like engine rooms, cargo compartments, a variety of tanks and other enclosed spaces simulating challenging scenarios such as fire incidents and gas leaks for an immersive training experience.

Solent’s maritime experts will be helping to establish the scenarios and safe procedures for shipboard activities relating to:

  • Enclosed spaces
  • Air/Atmosphere quality monitoring
  • Application/Use of Personal Protective Equipment
  • Fire-Fighting Techniques in Confined Spaces
  • Emergency Communication and Coordination

C4FF will then create the VR training package(s), which Solent will ensure match the scenarios and procedures provided before validating.

Solent University project lead, Captain Nadeem Anwar, Senior Lecturer – Petrochemical at Warsash Maritime School says:

“Operations in enclosed and confined spaces are associated with lots of risks stemming from multiple hazards. Injuries and fatalities are frequent, and mostly the root causes are human error and lack of training. Though, there are training requirements in place, the training is limited in terms of envisaging all the threats realistically. Apart from a few training courses like firefighting, the training remains primarily theoretical, and audio-video based at best.

“To give the trainees an immersive experience and realistic visualisation of the hazards, atmosphere evaluation techniques, firefighting in such spaces, and the opportunity to practice realistic procedures, virtual reality will go a long way in embedding the required awareness, knowledge and skills for operations in such environments.”

The goal is to make a substantial impact on the safety and preparedness of maritime professionals operating in confined ship environments. This project aligns seamlessly with industry demands, prioritizing advanced training methodologies that underscore realism, interactivity, and practical skill development.