Amid rough seas and thick fog, a group of Coast Guard Academy cadets are navigating Block Island Sound. A power boat and sailboat are converging just beyond them, and the cadets are debating whether to slow down or change course. They are tracking the vessels by radar and plotting their movements.
The situation isn’t real, but it very well could be. Those conditions are standard during this time of year for Coast Guard boat crews in New England.
The cadets, in this case in their third year at the academy, are using a simulator designed to look like a ship’s bridge. The simulators are a confidence-building tool to get cadets in the habit of navigating a ship at sea.