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Students buoyed by Navy survey vessel visit

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Students in front of HMAS Leeuwin

One of the Royal Australian Navy’s hydrographic survey vessels was the port of call for Australian Maritime College students when it docked in Hobart last week.

Sixteen students toured HMAS Leeuwin, a 71 metre-long vessel that gathers data for nautical charts produced by the Navy for safe navigation at sea.

PhD student Daniel Clayton explained that the in-depth look at the vessel helped the group bring their studies to life.

“The tour was an invaluable opportunity for us to get an appreciation of everything that goes into a vessel like HMAS Leeuwin,” Daniel said.

The tour was an invaluable opportunity for us to get an appreciation of everything that goes into a vessel like HMAS Leeuwin.

“This includes things like the vast quantity of stores that need to be loaded aboard for the duration of their voyage, the accommodation and recreation spaces aboard and, of course, the mission specific areas such as the data processing spaces.

“It’s really beneficial for maritime students to see how the challenge of balancing all these arrangement requirements are met. It enables new insight by connecting the theory of the lecture room to the reality of the workplace.”

HMAS Leeuwin is manned by a crew of 46 officers and sailors. Two of them — Lieutenant Hayes and Sub-Lieutenant Keane — led the tour and discussed life on board the vessel with the students.

Meeting seafarers and learning first-hand how they live and work on ships is an important part of a maritime engineering, architecture logistics or maritime management education, explained Daniel.

“Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the tour was being able to directly quiz end-users such as Lieutenant Hayes and Sub-Lieutenant Keane on all the aspects of the vessel and how they relate to their daily lives aboard,” Daniel said.

“Whilst it is one thing to try and put design decisions in context whilst sitting at a computer, it is invaluable to be able to hear the positive and negative aspects of a design directly from the people working, eating, and sleeping aboard the end product.”

The Australian Maritime College thanks the Royal Australian Navy and the HMAS Leeuwin for providing this opportunity. Particular thanks are extended to Lieutenant Hayes and Sub-Lieutenant Keane for the enjoyable and informative tour.

Published on: 28 Apr 2017