The new Waterside facility which was opened last week allows Navy sailors to learn seamanship skills without leaving port. The barge is moored at the Devonport Naval Base and allows sailors to develop seamanship skills in a realistic working environment.
The Waterside facility is a purpose-built barge designed for on the water training. The facility is accessed by a 35-metre bridge, weighs 145 tonnes, is 24 metres long and includes equipment such as decks, rails, lines and ladders, along with winches, HIAB cranes and hydraulics needed to raise and lower sea-boats.
The facility enables sailors to train in water-based seamanship skills such as man-overboard recovery, launching of rigid-hulled inflatable boats by crane, pilot ladder use, and life-raft launch and recovery. Skills can be practiced that develops experience before going to sea. Combined with the existing Seamanship Training Aids Landside Training Facility with its replica training ship hull, (completed in 2015), the Navy’s modern Seamanship Training complex is now complete.