CANADA Innovative Tech Saves Lives in Harsh Environments By Marcia Porter Randy Billard, CEO of Virtual Marine Technologies (VMT), grew up in Isle aux Morts in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. A place with a history of scuttling ships, where the waters can be treacherous and the rocks craggy, it has a serious name -- Isle aux Morts is French for Island of the Dead. An interesting name because Billard's company is all about saving lives. VMT develops simulation training for lifeboat operators, with a particular focus on modeling rough weather and harsh environments. "Because of safety concerns, lifeboat trainees don't ever get a chance to train in weather conditions that are common to an offshore environment. They learn how to launch in very benign conditions," says Billard. "If you are in an emergency situation 300 miles off the coast of Newfoundland and it's a six or seven meter sea state and you've got to get out, there are certain actions you must take." Virtual Marine Technology's advanced simulation technology enables users to train in a safe, effective and customizable environment to obtain the skills needed when it matters most. www.seadiscovery.com Marine Technology Reporter 43
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