A seafarer training facility in France is getting lots of attention since the Ever Given jammed the Suez Canal. The facility’s own miniature Suez Canal can help mariners learn lessons from the Ever Given fiasco with the help of awesome scale-model ships
Port Revel is a training facility based in a lake in Saint-Pierre-de-Bressieux, France. As Business Insider reports, the facility has mock-ups of waterways around the world, including San Francisco Bay, Port Arthur, Texas and yep, the Suez Canal. These mini waterways are built to 1:25 scale and are sailed by these scale model container ships:
Seafarers at the facility get to board adorable models of big ships and learn how to maneuver them by sailing them around accurate representations of busy trading routes. Port Revel has an impressive fleet of tiny ships and each comes with a spec sheet that details the kind of ship it’s representing. The facility really does take a big ship and condenses it into something a fraction of the size.
Opened in 1967, the facility has taught over 7,000 captains and pilots how to maneuver ships. Port Revel is the creation of Société Grenobloise d’Études Et d’Application Hydraulique and the Esso oil company. The partners have been building scale ships since 1952 to test the effects of big ships on shipping operations and to train crews.
Many of the ships are replicas of real ships out in the ocean right now. The facility pays incredible attention to detail, from the design of the waterways to the machine used to generate waves and currents. Port Revel even has the ability to simulate steering failures and engine problems so trainees can learn how to respond.
Francois Mayor runs Port Revel and says that accidents like the Ever Given’s blockage can bring more seafarers to the facility. From Reuters:
“After each accident... we see new clients coming,” said Mayor. “The cost of training at Port Revel is nothing like the cost of having a vessel like that stuck for a day.”
As for the Ever Given, it remains in custody of the Suez Canal Authority until someone responsible for the ship coughs up the payment the authority wants. At least some of the ship’s 25-person crew could be there for a while.
Correction: A reader pointed out that the source report named the port incorrectly. The Texas port is Port Arthur, not Port McArthur. I regret the error.