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Hotel Bonnoit sold !

Madame Bonnoit and her husband retired at the end of 2005, after nearly 40 years of close co-operation with Port Revel. The new owners are charming and hired a very good cook. We trust we will still be working hard in a gentle environment ...

A. de Graauw, January 2006


New courses:

> Experimenting with pods.

In order to make our Training Centre even more attractive to experienced pilots and masters, we have decided to introduce this new course in 2006. The course features manoeuvres like:

  • docking and undocking with current

  • crabbing with pods and bow thruster

  • backing into a slip

  • pod failures and emergency stopping

> Emergency Shiphandling

The first Emergency Shiphandling course was given in September 2004, over 3 days and was a big success. Three more courses of this kind were given in 2005 and we increased the duration to 3.5 days. In 2006, the course duration will finally be stabilised at 4 days, as this appears to be a minimum duration for training on manned models.

A. de Graauw, January 2006


Enhanced currents

A set of 2 new current generators enables us to produce a nice 1.5 kn current in our Suez Canal.

A. de Graauw, January 2006

New course: Emergency Shiphandling

In order to make our Training Centre more attractive to experienced pilots and masters, we have decided to introduce a new course on "Emergency Shiphandling" in 2004. The course features manoeuvres like:

  • Drift and manoeuvring in swell and/or current

  • Emergency stopping in a canal with anchors

  • Docking and undocking dredging anchor

  • Zigzag manoeuvre with tug at stern and engine/rudder failures

  • Proceeding through channels with engine/rudder failures, using the escort tug to stay in the channel.

These manoeuvres are conducted with various engine and/or rudder failures.

The first Emergency Shiphandling course was given on 14-16 September 2004, over 3 days and was a big success. We intend to give more courses of this kind in 2005 and we will increase the duration to 3.5 days (Monday noon to Thursday).

A. de Graauw, November 2004


ETCS meeting at Port Revel

EMPA's project "European Training Certification Standard" aims at defining the training standards for future pilot qualification. The latest meeting of the project was held at the Port Revel Centre on 16-18/9/2003. The meeting was attended by a group of senior pilots in charge of training from Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The opportunity was taken to evaluate Port Revel's facility and to experiment with a few emergencies, like rudder and/or engine failures, with anchors and/or tugs, in currents or waves.

Once more, the striking realism of the simulations impressed our guests.

A. de Graauw, September 2003


Revision of IMO's resolution A.485 (XII) - A 960 (23)

New Recommendations on Training and Certification of maritime pilots other than deep-sea pilots will probably come soon: they might be adopted at the 23rd Assembly on November 24 - December 5, 2003.

The draft Revised Resolution includes, among others:

* Assessment of pilots' proficiency over 5 years:

    § 6.1: "In order to ensure the continued proficiency of pilots and updating of their knowledge, the competent pilotage authority should satisfy itself, at regular intervals not exceeding five years, that all pilots under its jurisdiction:

    1 continue to possess recent navigational knowledge of the local area to which the certificate or licence applies;

    2 continue to meet the medical fitness standards of paragrah 4 above; and

    3 possess knowledge of the current international, national and local laws, regulations and other requirements and provisions relevant to the pilotage area and the pilots' duties."

    * Shiphandling training on manned models:

    § 5.5: "Competent pilotage authorities should be encouraged to provide updating and refresher training conducted for certified or licensed pilots to ensure the continuation of their proficiency and updating of their knowledge, and could include the following: (...)

    6 courses in shiphandling training centres using manned models;

A. de Graauw, May 2003


News from the APA convention in Baltimore (September 2002)

Celebrating his recent retirement, Jean Graff made a short review of Port Revel's development in he past 35 years of its existence: After 3 years spent with Esso's captains in the late sixties, the Centre was taken over by Sogreah in 1970.

  • The seventies saw a vast majority of masters and the first pilots discovering the Centre.

  • In the eighties, the 90 to 10 relation of masters to pilots reversed.

  • In the nineties, the first "Refresher courses" were organised for pilots coming for training on a 5-year schedule. These courses are less directive and leave more room for customising: a way to optimise port operations by increasing access windows.

  • The present decade has started with a further development in our relationship with pilots. We are now heading towards a closer partnership wherein pilots use our facility at their convenience: special courses and equipment are designed in close co-operation with the pilots, e.g. the "Escort tug course" with our friends from San Francisco.

This, we believe, is in line with the increased attention being given to the training of mariners all over the world. And IMPA is leading the way: two out of three of their August 2002 resolutions deal with training. Obviously, price should not interfere with quality and Pilots complaining about the heavy pressure exerted on prices by ship owners and the industry will certainly understand this !

Anyway, we will continue Jean Graff's efforts to keep our Centre worth your visit:

  • We will continue renewing ships and equipment on the lake

  • We have renewed our course presentations

  • We are developing specialised courses such as the customised Refresher course and the Tug course

As a newcomer in this prestigious family, I am really grateful for the warm welcome I received in Baltimore and I hope to be able to return this wonderful hospitality to any pilot who comes to visit us in our French Alps.

A. de Graauw, October 2002


A new director at Port Revel (April 2002)


After 21 years as the manager of the centre and having reach the ripe old age of 63 years-old, Jean GRAFF has decided to retire. He plans to leave the Port Revel crew at the beginning of July 2002. Until then, he will be working with the new director, who has recently been nominated, and will introduce him to the maritime pilot's world. But Jean GRAFF will not be abandoning ships completely. He will still be around as a senior advisor, unless he is too busy with his hobby... building ship models !

On April 2, 2002, Arthur DE GRAAUW, aged 51, was appointed Director of Port Revel.

He has been working for SOGREAH as a senior maritime engineer since 1983. He has a background in maritime hydraulics and is specialised in the design of port and coastal engineering works. From 1985 to 1989, he was the director of SOGREAH's Hydraulics Laboratory successfully steering it through the trouble waters of reconstruction. He speaks a few languages and has a taste for world-wide travel.

The Port Revel crew wish him fair winds and calm seas !!


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