VSTEP software solution named a finalist for the Safety at Sea International Awards 2011

Virtual training and simulation developer VSTEP is proud to announce its Port Security Awareness Software is shortlisted in the category ‘Security’ for the prestigious Safety at Sea International Awards 2011. The shortlisted finalists were selected by an expert judging panel, chaired by SASI’s executive editor Paul Gunton. All of the shortlisted entrants have proven to be of the highest standard and have a proven impact on modern maritime safety.

Winning a SASI Award remains one of the highest accolades in maritime safety.

Paul Gunton: "This fifth edition of the SASI Awards will have a lot to do to beat last year’s event, which saw more entries than ever before. The event continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to examining what innovations emerged the past year – the maritime safety industry never ceases to surprise us with its ingenuity."

Port Security Awareness is immersive 3D interactive training software which enables Rotterdam Port safety personnel to train detection of suspicious activity in the port of Rotterdam, both on water and on shore. It was developed for the Port of Rotterdam by virtual training and simulation developer VSTEP and is a fusion of its RescueSim virtual incident trainer and NAUTIS Maritime Simulators.

PSA puts users on board a Rotterdam Port Authority Patrol vessel during a routine patrol through the Port of Rotterdam. As the trainee actively sails the vessel through the port, he has to carefully observe the activity both on water and on shore. Trainee can use binoculars to zoom in on activity on shore and water. Prior to the exercise, the instructor can create different 'suspicious' and 'not suspicious' scenarios and actions by using the scenario editor.

These activities will trigger at a selected time during the exercise. The trainee then has to determine whether to qualify the detected activity as suspicious or not suspicious. Each time the trainee notices an activity, he notes this in the interactive logbook, which can then be reviewed after the exercise to discuss the different detected activities with the instructor.

Training is possible both individually or in class as trainees discuss the different detected situations and review after action. PSA allows creation and training of many different 'normal' and 'suspicious' scenarios, including scenarios that are difficult to train in real life. The entire port of Rotterdam is included in the training software in full 3D, and any possible scenario can be added or created on customer demand. PSA can be created and customized for any port worldwide, using specific vessels and scenarios.

Below are some of the many examples of the 'suspicious' scenarios included in the PSA version developed for the port of Rotterdam:

- Divers in the water submerging and rising near a moored vessel
- Fast craft mooring to another vessel
- People on the shore opening a container and loading the contents in their cars
- People on the shore transferring goods from one car to another
- Diver trying to board a navy or civilian vessel
- VLCC entering a restricted port area
- Rigid Inflatable entering port
- Individual dropping and leaving a bag unattended on shore
- and many other scenarios are included…

PSA is an immersive and affordable training tool enhancing operational awareness of port security personnel on patrol duty.

The winners of the Safety at Sea International Awards 2011 will be announced on the evening of Thursday 23 June 2011 onboard HMS Belfast, London and will receive their trophies from by Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency.