Some of pilots have been undergoing training in piloting the largest container ships in the world into the Port of London.
The “Mega Max” ships, were built for HMM in South Korea, are almost 400 metres long and more than 61 metres wide. The first, HMM Algeciras, called at DP World London Gateway in June. Now, the sister ships of the Algeciras, such as Le Havre, Stockholm and Southampton call almost every week.
The pilots train in a simulator at our headquarters in Gravesend, under an instructor, who is also a working pilot. The simulator features the view from the bridge as well as its dashboard.
Simon Liley, who ran one of the courses last week, explained that while the HMM ships were as long as other vessels such as older “Ultra Large” containers ships, they were wider which meant they had different handling characteristics.
“We go through a series of exercises with different wind directions and speeds to highlight the different handling characteristics, but we are also trying the evaluate what conditions we can handle, which is particularly important with winter approaching” he said.