How does simulation training compare to live boat or CBT based training?

Lifeboat simulators have been specifically created for coxswains to practice emergency scenarios using representative equipment and virtual environments. As simulation is adopted as an alternative to existing training, operators will be required to demonstrate simulators are effective training tools. A human factors study was performed to evaluate how skills acquired in different training programs transferred to an emergency scenario. Participants received quarterly training in one of three alternatives including a live boat, Computer Based Training, and simulators. At the end of one year, all participants performed an evaluation scenario emulating a plausible emergency event in weather conditions. This study compares the performance of each group and reveals experimental results that assess the effectiveness of methods for training coxswains to deal with a realistic emergency. The study indicates the type and amount of training received has an influence on the trainees’ ability to perform a successful lifeboat launch. The impact of hands-on practice and the type of scenarios used in training is examined. The study also measured skill retention between practice sessions. Results suggest more frequent training is needed to achieve a high success rate on first launch attempt. The study also identifies a high degree of difficulty of performing slow speed maneuvering tasks in waves

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