Have you ever wondered how high risk professions receive their training?  Firefighters and people who conduct water rescues are all highly trained.

Fire and water combines at our Great Barrier Reef International Marine College in Cairns (GBRIMC) to offer industry relevant training programs. But the result is more than just a bit of hot air. Outcomes meet the regulatory requirements of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Technology has revolutionised how people undertaking high-risk professions receive their training. Research shows that immersive simulation-based training can positively influence student confidence and competence (Wright, A. 2018)

The GBRIMC is an $8 million facility that has a full mission bridge simulator, a ship ashore facility for firefighting and flood training, a sea survival training immersion pool, engineering workshops and its very own training vessel, Gwendoline May – all located on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef

The entire facility has been designed through the advice received by marine industry and a range of other stakeholders to guarantee a learning environment that duplicates the expectations and discipline of the workplace with a focus on real learning for real jobs.

Let’s dive right in and take a look at the awesome tech on offer:


Used for sea survival training, the on-site immersion pool measures 15 metres x 10 metres and is four metres deep. The immersion pool allows you to simulate emergency procedures including the launch and operation of life-rafts and use of on-board lifesaving equipment for survival techniques and ocean rescues.


This “ship ashore” facility provides a variety of training opportunities including real time firefighting, leak stopping (damage control) and crew emergency response training.  Complete with an engine room, switchboard, galley, cabin and a three-deck accommodation block – training is supported by a fully qualified team with comprehensive safeguards and procedures.

If you like it hot, then this is for you


Our Kongsberg Polaris simulator is STCW and DNV compliant. It has a 270 degree field of vision and is equipped with Electronic Chart Display's (ECDIS), ARPA Radar's, AIS and has the controls to operate a range of propulsion and steering systems including Azimuth Drive and Bow thrusters. A comprehensive library of ships and port area models are available.  Additional ship models can be obtained to meet client requirements.

The simulator’s integrated database and hydro-dynamic software allows operators to modify the experience according to student requirements. Digital models of ports from around the world, including major Australian ports, have been pre-programmed into this state-of-the-art system. The software also allows for the digital modelling of any other port not already programmed into the system.

If you’re ready to dive deeper why not take a tour of the facility? The Great Barrier Reef International Marine College in Cairns is hosting a viewing of the facilities on 13 September 2018 from 10.30am to 11.30am. 




Wright, Anthony. (2018). The influence of a full-time, immersive simulation-based clinical placement on physiotherapy student confidence during the transition to clinical practice. Title of Journal, Volume(issue). Retrieved from https://advancesinsimulation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41077-018-0062-9

You may also like
TAFE Queensland