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MAAP and Kongsberg Digital sign significant simulation contract

Kongsberg Digital has signed a contract to deliver a range of maritime simulators to the new and extensive Innovation Lab of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific or MAAP in the Philippines.
 

The academy has been a first adopter of new simulation-based training tools for years.
 

Kongsberg Digital’s simulator systems are central to the future-oriented Lab and will augment an already extensive range of K-Sim products, strengthening MAAP’s position as a regional institution of excellence for maritime education and innovation.
 

The agreement which consists of a Long-Term System Support Program (LTSSP), includes the delivery of Kongsberg Digital’s cutting-edge maritime simulators for an Innovation Lab which places its emphasis on Digital Twin, Shore Control, Remote Control Center and MASS (maritime autonomous surface ship) technologies.
 

The investment will enable MAAP to enhance training and assessment, and to conduct advanced research in, for example, e-Navigation, and validate operational concepts, including smart and autonomous ships.

 

As part of the Digital Twin initiative, Kongsberg Digital’s Vessel Insight will be installed on the academy’s training vessel. 

 

This will enable MAAP’s students to take a leading role with first-hand experience on vessel-to-cloud data infrastructure capturing and give them the ability to analyze vessel data over time.

 

Also covered by the system extension is the delivery of a brand-new celestial navigation simulator system, which allows instructors to provide trainee officers with hands-on experience in a safe, controlled, and realistic environment meeting the standards laid out in the STCW requirements. In addition, Kongsberg Digital will deliver new consoles for MAAP´s existing K-Sim Navigation bridge simulators, as well as a mid-life upgrade of its motion platform, including four class-B K-Sim Engine room simulators. This will extend and complete MAAP´s wide range of existing K-Sim simulators covering various training purposes, like; ship handling/navigation, engine room management, cargo handling and advanced firefighting simulator system. 

 

Consolidating its position as a leading adopter of the new digital technology, MAAP started using Kongsberg Digital’s K-Sim Connect platform in 2019 for cloud-based simulation training to complement classroom education. Since then, the cloud-based K-Sim Engine training applications have allowed the academy's students to practice and prepare for their exams anytime, anywhere and at their own pace. 
 

Kongsberg Digital will soon launch its latest extension to the company’s cloud- based simulation portfolio, the K-Sim Navigation, and the contract with MAAP includes the delivery of this brand-new training application. MAAP will thus be one of the first training centers world-wide to start using it for blended learning.   
 

President at MAAP Admiral Eduardo Ma. Santos, says: “MAAP is a leading institution of excellence for maritime education and training in the Asia-Pacific region, but the worlds of maritime training and simulation never stand still.  Our longstanding relationship with Kongsberg Digital has consistently equipped us to retain our position as a pioneer in the use of new simulation-based training tools.”
 

“With this contract, MAAP is demonstrating regional leadership and a willingness to invest in the future,” says Andreas Jagtøyen, Executive Vice President, Kongsberg Digital. “As a clear pioneer in the use of new simulation-based training tools and cloud-based solutions, MAAP is investing and demonstrating serious intent when it comes to the future education and training of seafarers. Our relationship with MAAP goes back decades, and we are immensely proud to be trusted by this respected institution. We are looking forward to delivering our K-Sim and Vessel Insight products and contributing to a very exiting innovation initiative.”


 

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Holistic Healthcare

A New Way to Care for Seafarers

Filipino seafarers represent about 25% of the world’s maritime workforce, transporting essential goods around the world. We ought to improve the healthcare for seafarers, seeing the growing threat of health issues, including psychological well-being. 
 

Prior voyage, seafarers must go through medical check. This is a critical point of the seafarer’s journey, as livelihood is put on hold if medical issues come up. Then and now, it’s common for seafarers to dread this medical check for fear that they would spend too much time, money, and effort to get their medical clearance, dependent on which clinic they are assigned to, and be subject to tests and evaluation, hoping that they get the call they are finally fit to work. A seafarer’s journey doesn’t have to be like this moving forward.
 

With a dream for the maritime industry’s way of caring for our seafarers, Nordic Medical Clinic (NMC) was established last 2018 as a Pre-Employment Medical Examination clinic solely for seafarers. 
 

NMC’s PEME program seeks to raise the standards of seafarer’s healthcare in the Philippines through its holistic approach. By maintaining the good health of the seafarer, it empowers a seafarer to long-term skilled service beneficial to their career, their family and the company.
 

“More than just classifying into fit or unfit, we proactively care for seafarers, prior joining and while onboard. We didn’t stop at testing our seafarers, we started teaching them.”, Dr Didoy Lubaton (Medical Director for Holistic Care) said.  Embedded in the PEME program is the holistic health education specific for the lifestyle of the seafarers.
 

One interesting area of NMC is the conversation room. Within 24 hours after PEME, medical results of the seafarer are sent online, and dedicated Doctors call seafarers individually to discuss the results and continue teaching. On-site, this is done in the conversation room, a safe place for one-on-one discussion with the seafarers. The conversation includes lifestyle modifications and motivations, to be preventive rather than just to be curative, how to be at best of health in mind and body.  
 

True to the culture of care, NMC created a zero cash out policy, meaning NO items/services will be paid by seafarers.
 

Another feature of NMC is its Telemedicine services. On shore and at sea, the seafarer now has access to healthcare. With the PEME health records, Telemedicine response is better knowing the latest medical status of the seafarer. With holistic health education as its mission, Companies could also request health talks for free for their employees and seafarers.
 

NMC clients and seafarers attest to the success of this healthcare program. One of its clients, as an example, was able to significantly decrease medical repatriation rates from the industry rate of 1.5% to now only 0.7%. This translates to healthier seafarers and families, smoother operations, and customer’s success. Crew Satisfaction Score for the clinic is at 99% with remarks of appreciation and recommendation to reach more seafarers.   
 

The clinic has recently expanded operations to NMC Cebu. With this new branch, the holistic healthcare services are now closer to the homes of the seafarers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions: more accessible healthcare, less travel and lodging cost, easier and faster clearance to work.
 

NMC hopes that holistic care in maritime would make a difference in the journey of the seafarer, now and the future. Everybody wins when seafarers are cared for and take care of themselves too.
 

Nordic Medical Clinic is a Maritime Pre-Employment Medical Clinic in the Philippines with a holistic approach to healthcare, mindful of the needs of the seafarer and company.


 

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Minoa Marine & Michaelmar Phils strengthen ties

 

While things are hissing up towards global economic recovery, Minoa Marine Ltd. (MML) and Michaelmar Phils. Inc. (MPI) are bullish to reinforce their synergy. Together, they spearheaded two valuable projects for the seafarers and their families.

 

Speaking to Marino World, MML Crewing Manager Mr. Alexandros Papalambrou, underscores “We are committed to provide services of the highest standards, quality and efficiency. Towards this direction we are seeking long-term relationship with valued partners. One of the most valuable partners is Michaelmar Phils. Inc.”

 

Investment.

 

MML held its first training program at the recently established Anthimos Minoa Marine Training Center located at Michaelmar building in Palanan, Makati City.

The two-day seminar was participated in by 22 deck and engine management level officers on June 9-10 aimed to study cases, gain feedback from the officers to avoid accidents on board and to create a better life at sea.

MML Operations Manager Capt. Yiannis Katsouris shares his deepest thoughts on investing on training for their crews who play a vital role in the operations of the vessels 24/7 responsible for her seaworthiness and for the proper handling of the cargo, a key aspect of the whole voyage. 

“Therefore, we consider them as valuable assets. Our company aims to have a long-lasting cooperation with Filipino seafarers, making them an indispensable part of our team, for years to come.”

MPI supplies the crewing requirements of the eight panamax bulk carriers managed by MML. 

Capt. Katsouris with 25 years of experience and who worked with Filipino seafarers onboard says “Filipino seafarers are reliable, loyal and disciplined. They work hard and with dedication, committed to solve any problem that might arise during a sea voyage.”

 

Support.

 

Mr. Papalambrou proudly reports that there was not even one case of COVID-19 reported from their crew. He also confirms Minoa’s support to the seafarers and their families during the crisis.

 

“Not even one case of COVID. No complaint from the seafarers. Minoa treats the seafarers not only with protection but also takes care of their finances so that in these difficult periods they can overcome.”

 

Pay back.

 

MML Owner’s Representative Capt. Rudylyn Gallego substantiates Papalambrou’s statement, “the company and Michaelmar also provided the crew with extensive medical test, free hotel isolation prior to joining, and personal protective equipment.

 

In consideration of, he said, the seafarers including himself sacrificed and showed resiliency during the difficult times.

 

“Life at sea requires mental flexibility which most of the seafarers already adapted. We provided open communication to the seafarers in order to ward off their feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression. I myself stayed 12 months onboard, it was very difficult times, very difficult. But I always tell my crew that we must wait for the time that we are able to disembark as there is no airport to go home.”

 

Charity.

 

On June 4, Julia Minoa Women Society held its first project of Constant Support Initiative (CSI) at the Bahay Aruga in Ermita, Manila.

Minoa and Michaelmar gave a complete party package to the kids – food and drinks, gifts, bubble and balloon shows. The children danced and were entertained by the performances of the clowns. 

 

Two of the kids also celebrated their birthdays with the traditional blowing of the cake candles.

Event headers are Ms. Georgia Stylianopoulou and Ms. Marlene Gaspar MML and MPI Representatives; and Ms. Marimel Gallego, Team Leader of the Women Society.

 

Ms. Stylianopoulou keynotes “I know it’s hard times. I know you’re having difficult times but please don’t let the bad moments define you. Be happy whenever you can. Smile whenever you can. If we lose hope, we have nothing. So please keep smiling and I think everything will go as well as they can go.”

 

Bahay Aruga as a charitable institution is a free halfway house for children with cancer. Affiliated with the Philippine General Hospital, it gives temporary shelter to pediatric cancer patients for free while they are having their medications at PGH.

 

Ms. Gaspar says Bahay Aruga needs more support and funding as it runs solely on donations by kind-hearted individuals. 

 

“The worldwide pandemic caused economic and social disruption. Less donations came in and now it is gradually starting to pick up. By having this outreach event, we hope that we were able to bring some joy and happiness to the kids and forget the pain they are going through even for a moment,” she expounds.

 

Mrs. Merry Rose Simeon, wife of a seafarer, says in her first time joining the event, she met new friends and it was fulfilling.

“The knowledge of helping others is hugely empowering and in turn it makes you feel happier and more fulfilled. The power to improve the lives of others and to many people is a privilege and one that comes with its own sense of obligations.”

 

Commitment.

 

Team Leader Marimel, wife of MML Manila representative Capt. Rudylyn Gallego expressed determination to have a strong presence.

 

“Julia Minoa Women Society is determined to have a strong presence to establish our objectives in the Philippine community - to provide socially beneficial work where we as the wives of the seafarers will act and organize the activities and plans of Minoa.”

 

She also gave emphasis that parents should be the heroes of their children by taking care of them and supporting them in every challenge they encounter. 

 

Indeed, the two events reflect Minoa Marine Ltd. and Michaelmar Phils. Inc. strong partnership in taking care of the seafarers and their families’ well-being.


 

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