Skip to main content Accessibility help

Assessing Lifeboat Coxswain Training Alternatives Using a Simulator

  • Randy Billard (a1), Jennifer Smith (a2) and Brian Veitch (a2)


Lifeboats are essential life-saving equipment for all types of water-going vessels and offshore platforms. Lifeboat simulators have been created specifically for offshore personnel to practice in conditions that are normally too risky for live training. As simulation training is a relatively new alternative, there is a need to assess how training performed with a simulator compares with conventional training. This study was performed to evaluate how skills acquired with different training approaches transferred to an emergency scenario. Over a period of one year, participants received quarterly training in one of three ways: using live boats, computer-based training or a simulator. Following training, participants were evaluated on their ability to launch and manoeuvre a lifeboat in a plausible emergency. The study results suggest a benefit to performing training with realistic lifeboat controls and practicing using representative emergency scenarios. Insights are provided on how training can be modified to increase competence.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Arthur, W. Jr., Bennett, W. Jr., Stanush, P. L. and McNelly, T. L. (1998). Factors that influence skill decay and retention: a quantitative review and analysis. Human Performance, 11(1), 57101.
Baumann, M. R., Gohm, C. L., & Bonner, B. L. (2011). Phased training for high-reliability occupations live-fire exercises for civilian firefighters. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 53(5), 548557.
Billard, R., Smith, J., Magee, L., Veitch, B. (2018). Simulator training for offshore oil and gas emergency preparedness. ITEC Proceedings, Stuttgart.
C-Core (2015). Metocean climate study offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, Nalcor Energy Report.
Driskell, J. E., Willis, R. P. and Copper, C. (1992). Effect of overlearning on retention. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77(5), 615622.
International Maritime Organization (2014). International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Consolidated Edition. International Maritime Organization, London.
International Maritime Organization and International Conference on Training and Certification of Seafarers (2010). STCW including 2010 Manila Amendments, 2017 Edition. 4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR United Kingdom: IMO Publishing.
Klein, G. (2008). Naturalistic decision making. Human Factors: The Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomic Society, 50(3), 456460.
Lim, J., Reiser, R. and Olina, Z. (2009). The effects of part-task and whole-task instructional approaches on acquisition and transfer of a cognitive skill. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57, 6177.
Magee, L. E., Smith, J. J. E., Billard, R. and Patterson, A. (2016). Simulator training for lifeboat maneuvers. Proceedings of the Inteservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Orlando, Florida, USA. p. 16030.
McClernon, C. K., McCauley, M. E., O'Connor, P. E. and Warm, J. S. (2011). Stress training improves performance during a stressful flight. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 53(3), 207218.
Sellberg, C. (2017). Simulators in bridge operations training and assessment: a systematic review and qualitative synthesis. WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, 16(2), 247263.
Stefanidis, D., Korndorffer, J. R., Markley, S., Sierra, R., Heniford, B. T. and Scott, D. J. (2007). Closing the gap in operative performance between novices and experts: does harder mean better for laparoscopic simulator training? Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 205(2), 307313.
Stewart, J., Johnson, D. and Howse, W. (2008). Fidelity requirements for army aviation training devices, Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Research. Report 1887, Arlington, Virginia, USA: Army Research Institute.
van Merriënboer, J. J. G., Clark, R. E. and de Croock, M. B. M. (2002). Blueprints for complex learning: The 4C/ID-model. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(2), 3964.
Van Rossum, J. H. (1990). Schmidt's schema theory: The empirical base of the variability of practice hypothesis: a critical analysis. Human Movement Science, 9(3), 387435.
Wickens, C., Hollands, J., Banbury, S., Parasuraman, R., (2013). Engineering Psychology and Human Performance, 4th Edition, New York, NY, USA: Pearson.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed