MSRC Delivers PPU Presentation to Mexican Pilots
The Maritime Simulation Resource Centre (MSRC), a pilot
simulation training and port feasibility studies facility,
recently gave a presentation on Portable Pilot Units (PPUs) to
the directors of all the Mexican Pilots Associations. The
day-long workshop was given at the request of Captain ALT. Mario
Alejandro Camacho Vidal, Secretario General del Sindicato
Nacional de Pilotos de Puerto.
Thirty marine pilots from across Mexico received detailed
information on how PPUs operate and what hardware and software
options are currently available so they can make informed
decisions on the application of PPUs at their local pilotage
The presentation was given by MSRC's Captain Bernard Cayer, a
Class A pilot with over 40 years of sea experience, who has an
extensive background using PPUs and SEAiq Pilot software (a
system he helped improve for use on the St. Lawrence).
Portable Pilot Units (PPUs) are mobile devices (laptop or tablet)
that can "plug in" to a ship's navigation system and are used for
navigation, information and decision making.
A PPU carries its own local real-time data by bringing together
information from paper media such as harbor sounding plans, tide
data, and electronic data such as image files, that is then
combined with learned and memorized information residing in the
pilot's head; for example, clearing distances and routes.
A PPU can show data which might otherwise need to be computed by
the pilot; meeting or overtaking points with other traffic, ETAs
at various points along the route or destination, and tide
height, etc. It shows that information with respect to Own-Ship
position, greatly enhancing the pilot's comprehension of the
situation surrounding him.
"Situational awareness is key," said Captain Cayer. "By
downloading the most up-to-date local soundings onto the PPU, the
pilot can access the latest shoal information that appears right
in the channel where it is with the shoal depth. It's a lot more
convenient than listening to a Notice to Shipping broadcast over
the VHF. We are finding that more and more pilots are recognizing
the importance of this equipment."
Commenting on the presentation, Captain Camacho Vidal said,
"Captain Cayer is an expert and very well versed in the use of
PPUs. Already, many of our pilots are considering using PPUs at
their ports. We are planning to have Captain Cayer return to
Mexico and give an official course to the pilots. There is much
interest because we know the course will be given by a pilot for
Mar 20, 2017