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Release date: March 13, 2020

Victoria, BC - - Atlantic Towing Limited (ATL) is pleased to announce approximately $700,000 in funding to support a new, state-of-the-art marine simulator for Camosun College, a community college located in Greater Victoria, serving approximately 19,000 students. The upgrade will allow Camosun to offer a wider range of courses and develop a Cadet/Bridgewatch program, growing the number of marine professionals entering a vital industry.

“We have been working with multiple Indigenous communities and Camosun College to develop Bridgewatch and Culinary programs for nearly two years,” said Gilles Gagnon, Vice President and General Manager of ATL. “The simulator upgrade is a fantastic step forward in the Bridgewatch program.”

“Our programs are focused on giving students the skills they need for a range of in-demand careers,” said Sherri Bell, President of Camosun College. “The generous support from Atlantic Towing and Irving Shipbuilding for a new marine simulator will allow more students to train closer to home.”

Funds will be allocated over a three-year period by Irving Shipbuilding, Inc. (ISI) in an agreement brokered by ATL. This funding is part of ISI's Value Proposition commitment to creating a sustainable marine industry across Canada as part of its involvement in the National Shipbuilding Strategy, where the Halifax Shipyard is currently constructing Canada's future naval combat fleet.

A Strong Presence on Canada’s West Coast

ATL has been working to establish a strong presence on Canada’s West Coast. In August 2018, following a rigorous and transparent bid process, the Canadian Coast Guard awarded a three-year contract to ATL for the provision of two emergency offshore towing vessels that operate in BC coastal waters. These vessels – the Eagle and the Raven – are capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, helping to prevent potential marine pollution incidents, assist with search and rescue operations, and contributing to Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan.

In April, 2019, ATL announced that conversations with Coastal First Nation Communities had resulted in three new relationships: a Joint Venture Agreement between Songhees Events and Catering and ESS- Compass Group Canada; a contract with Salish Sea Industrial Services; and, a plan to implement Bridgewatch and Culinary training programs for local students via Camosun College.

Continued Support of Coastal First Nation Communities

Release date: March 13, 2020

Camosun College operates two campuses on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples on Vancouver Island, and its Camosun Costal Centre housed on Songhees Nation Territory. The establishment of a Bridgewatch program will allow potential cadets (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) to stay on Vancouver Island to complete their training. Currently, students interested in seafaring or marine services must leave the island to receive necessary training.

“Songhees Nation’s economy was intimately connected to the Salish Sea for millennia,” said Christina Clarke, Corporate Executive Officer of Songhees Nation. “Forming Salish Sea Industrial Services with Ralmax and Esquimalt Nation is one of our strategies for returning to the marine economy. Camosun College has been a key partner for Songhees Nation for many years. We are thankful to Atlantic Towing, Limited for their support of the marine simulator. It will be a game changer for our students.”

“In supporting the nautical simulator upgrade and development of the Bridgewatch program, I believe we can help grow the number of marine professionals entering the industry,” said Gilles Gagnon, Vice President and General Manager of ATL. “This will help reduce the barriers of entry by making marine education more affordable to all and accessible to students in Western Canada. We look forward to
hiring cadets local to British Columbia.”

About the Simulator

A new Navi-Trainer Professional 5000 simulator will be supplied by Transas, recently acquired by Wartsila. A critically important upgrade, the simulator will allow Camosun to widen its scope of courses, and mariners to complete higher-level certificates. It has been designed to comply with the following regulations:

  • International Convention of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010)
  • IMO model courses
  • International SOLAS Conventions
  • Regulations concerning special training: fishing operations, VTS operator training, etc.
  • This simulator is approved by DNV (with class notification INTEGRATED SIMULATOR SYSTEM, NAUT AW (SIM), DYNPOS – AUT (SIM), HSC, TUG, ICE to the lass A Standard for Certification of Maritime Simulators No. 2.14)

The simulator’s training capabilities include:

  • Ship handling
  • ARPA
  • AIS
  • Bridge Team Management
  • Tug and barge handling operations
  • Offshore operations and DP system usage
  • Anchor handling
  • Ice navigation
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Pilot training
  • High speed craft
  • Fishing operations
  • Naval applications
  • Vessel traffic management for certification and training of VTS personnel
  • Research projects for ship modelling, harbour and fairway design

Looking Forward

Atlantic Towing Limited is committed to continued work with BC’s Coastal Communities, and to sustaining a local support system between the Canadian Coast Guard, local partners, and the ongoing effort to protect our oceans for generations to come.

“Having operated in British Columbia’s coastal environment for over a year, we have established strong partnerships and found a welcoming community,” said Gilles Gagnon, Vice President and General Manager of ATL. “Our ability to help young students with their training will enrich lives and lead to more local hiring aboard our vessels. We are proud to have worked with Irving Shipbuilding in making this possible.”

About Atlantic Towing Limited:

Headquartered in Saint John, NB, Atlantic Towing Limited. specializes in the provision of diverse marine services including port tug services, coastal towing, offshore oil and gas exploration, and product support. Its world class vessels are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and experienced, versatile crews. Both crewmembers and land-based personnel operate with safety, quality of service and teamwork top-of-mind. The company is Green Marine certified. Atlantic Towing is a member of the J.D. Irving, Limited family of companies.

About Irving Shipbuilding Inc.:

Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is the most modern shipbuilder and in-service ship support provider in North America. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, our skilled team and innovative facilities provide efficient building, fabrication, conversion and servicing of vessels and offshore platforms. As Canada's chosen shipbuilder, Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is working with the Royal Canadian Navy on the next class of

Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) and Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). We are proud to continue our long history as a trusted partner in Canadian shipbuilding. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a member of the J.D. Irving, Limited group of companies, a diverse family owned company with operations in Canada and the United States. Learn more at or

About Camosun College:

Camosun College is located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia with campuses on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here. The two campuses, Lansdowne and Interurban, serve 19,000 learners a year in upgrading, certificate, diploma, bachelor's degree, post-degree diploma and continuing education programs.

In 2017, the college opened the Camosun Coastal Centre. Formerly known as IMTARC (Industry Marine Training and Applied Research Centre), the satellite site is located on Songhees Nation Territory near the Esquimalt Graving Dock.

Media Contact:

Please direct all media and/or attendance requests to:

Primary Contact:

Mary Keith
Vice President Communications
J.D. Irving, Limited (506) 650-8209 (506) 632-5122

Secondary Contact:

Alyssa Simon Communications Specialist
J.D. Irving, Limited, Transportation & Logistics Division (506) 632-6342
(506) 343-5886


A group stands outside of the Camosun Coastal Centre

Atlantic Towing Limited donates $700,000 to Camosun to support a new state-of-the art marine simulator for nautical-related training.

Last updated: March 12, 2020 1:18 pm

Contact Us
Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Rd
Victoria BC V8P 5J2
Camosun College Interurban
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

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