International students and training staff from the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) have been testing out their skills with Torbay Council's Marine and Harbour Services.
The eight students, who are from eight different countries, headed out of the classroom to meet with Brixham Harbourmaster Paul Labistour, take a tour of Brixham Harbour, find out about the work of the harbour office and visit Brixham Coastguards.
It's the second year in a row the council's Marine and Harbour Services has hosted a visit for UKHO.
The students, who are from Argentina, Bangladesh, Romania, Bulgaria, Venezuela, New Zealand, Singapore and Sri Lanka, are the latest to learn how to produce and maintain Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) by attending an intensive five-week course delivered by UKHO's highly skilled staff.
The training is taking place at the Marine Cartographic Training Centre at UKHO's headquarters in Taunton and has been supplemented by visits to Devonport, Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth and Brixham Harbour, where they gathered data to help produce an ENC of the harbour.
Chairman of the Harbour Committee, Councillor Robert Horne, said: "We are always ready to assist a partner organisation in their endeavours and were more than willing to support UKHO's visit. I hope the students gained a valuable insight into the work of Brixham Harbour and Marine Services and will be able to use information gathered in Brixham to their advantage."
Ken Blagdon from UKHO's training team said: "The visit enabled the students to gain a practical understanding of the mariner's perspective, gain an insight into the detail they have been producing in electronic format with the bonus of gaining an experience of some of the local area and culture!"
"All the students remarked what a great success the visit was, giving extra value to the mainly office based course. Thanks go to the council and its harbour staff for their time and input into making the visits such a success."
This course is part of the UKHO Bursary programme which supports the International Hydrographic Organization's (IHO) commitment to capacity building, and developing international capability.
The course provides the students with the key skills and knowledge to produce and maintain ENCs in support of the IHO's programme to ensure the quality and consistency of ENC provision worldwide.
The hard working students are Fabian Alejandro Vetere of Argentina, Mohammad Minhaz Uddin of Bangladesh, Ionel Toader of Romania, Mladen Petrov Hristov of Bulgaria, Willner Jesus Pino Vegas of Venezuela, Christine Lynda Clarke of New Zealand, Carrie Siok May Ang of Singapore, Mrs B H B Jayamalie Silva of Sri Lanka, Octavian Buzatu of Romania, Tran Ngoc Tu of Vietnam, Marke Szatan of Poland, Rolando Rios of Argentina, Pairat Pikulthong of Thailand and Alfonso Salazar of Venezuela.
The UKHO has now trained over 250 students from over 45 countries since 2002. In addition to delivering training at the UKHO HQ in Taunton the Training Team also provides training 'in country' and in the past year has delivered our internationally accredited 15-week Marine Cartography and Hydrographic Data Processing course to the Royal Malaysian Hydrographic Office in Malaysia, and delivered two week Marine Cartography courses in Netherlands, Denmark and Oman.