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Students brave the simulated seas

November 15, 2007 | Chris Payatagool
SiriusinGalveston-sm.jpgGALVESTON - The boat whipped by the Port of Galveston at 37 knots, speeding past a cruise ship, the tall ship USS Elissa and a smoldering oil tanker.

Dipping over the giant swells, senior maritime transportation major Scott Harrison steered dangerously close to a barge, then accidentally ran over a man who had been thrown overboard from the burning tanker and was begging for help.

Capt. Robert Thrailkill shrugged. Better to clip another ship and injure a drowning man in a college classroom than on the open seas, he said.

"It's a lot easier to make a mistake here than out there," said Thrailkill, who runs the Texas Maritime Academy's $500,000 Full Mission Bridge simulator.

At the Texas Maritime Academy, run by Texas A&M University at Galveston, aspiring ship captains and pilots learn to navigate the seas on the university's ship simulator.

[via The Daily News]

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