Maritime navigation and communications equipment supplier, JRC subsidiary Alphatron Marine is using a legacy tugboat to provide training to onshore support teams
It is hiring Steenbank tugboat in the Netherlands to improve knowledge of vessel navigation, operations and port activities to people in the shipping industry due to a growing competency gap in marine services and shipping activities that needs to be filled.
There is a decreasing number of people who have sailed or have a good knowledge of the shipping industry working onshore and on vessels. To fill vacancies, it is now often necessary to invite candidates who have little knowledge of shipping and its facets, said Alphatron Marine.
With the use of this tugboat, built in the late 1950s, Alphatron Marine will be the first company in the sector to start providing ‘mariniser’ training for employees.
Staff will be trained in maritime concepts, typical habits, place and technical names, and awareness of what is involved in the port of Rotterdam and beyond.
With this training, Alphatron Marine also hopes to increase the appeal of marine industries to those seeking careers.
Steenbank, together with its sister ship Schouwenbank, were ordered by L Smit and Co at the Bodewes construction yard in Millingen aan de Rijn, the Netherlands, in the late 1950s.
They were built to assist the ever-expanding ships in the then new Europoort. Steenbank is a coastal and harbour tugboat with diesel-electric propulsion, a capacity of 1,250 hp and 13 tonnes of pulling power.
Steenbank had a long service life with New Rotterdam Towage Service and the Belgian Navy before being sold for scrap in 2015.
However, a group of enthusiasts with a great passion for tugboats bought the vessel and renovated it with the help of volunteers from the tugboat port of Maassluis.
Steenbank is operated by Nostalgic Rotterdam Towage Service, a non-profit venture where all proceeds will be used to maintain the ship.