The Suez Canal gained in popularity in the last few weeks after the Ever Given container ship blocked it for almost a week, resulting in major disorder and damage. The news dumbfounded the maritime industry. Gladly for shipping firms, preventing solutions are in place to hinder or at least lessen the risk for huge ships from getting blocked in tricky canals.
An example of a similar measure exists on a lake in eastern France at the Port Revel training facility. There, ship captains and maritime pilots can enhance their skills or better their navigation skills by being seated on duplicate small ships and navigating critical shipping channels.
Post the Ever Given accident, the facility claims they have seen an increase in demand for similar exercises quoted Reuters. The Port Revel provides a variety of challenging small trading routes for mariners to navigate, even the Suez Canal — modeled at 1/25th of its actual scale. Other small waterways include the San Francisco Bay, and Port Arthur in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mariners practice navigating miniature container ships through these critical channels and that’s not all, the facility includes various realistic issues like powerful underwater currents, machine-operated waves as well as technical problems like failed engines and steering problems.
The reason behind these exercises is to equip the pilots and captains to solve real-life problems with a clear head and the right skill set. To reduce the chance of possible canal blockages like the Ever Given in the Suez Canal which caused a blockage of cargo approximately valued at $9.6 billion from each day that it remained stuck. The ship’s owners are yet to pay a $1 billion fine before the ship is released.
The Port Revel has various packages on offer ranging from a week to a couple of days. They also create customized packages. The objective is to keep the marine trade going without hindrances and maintain the safety of captains and crews aboard.